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Australia to consider joining U.S. airstrikes against IS

Published September 11th, 2014 - 08:30 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Abbott said Thursday that Australia is ready for assistance by taking part in the airstrikes and by providing military advisers once it receives a request.

The Australian premier said “a specific request for military assistance hasn’t yet come” but that if it does it would be considered.

Abbott’s comments came shortly after US President Barack Obama promised to enlist a “broad coalition of partners” to target the terrorist group.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten, however, said “there is a clear problem to be dealt with in Iraq” regarding the ISIL militancy. The Labor politician said the party will decide on Australia’s involvement when the government formally advises them on the matter.

This is while the Australian government is mulling over raising the country’s terrorism threat level to the second highest stage within days as a measure to tackle the growing homegrown danger posed by the supporters of ISIL militants operating inside Iraq and Syria.

The government is preparing to present legislation to parliament to make it easier to detain and prosecute foreign fighters.

Intelligence agencies believe about 60 Australians are fighting with terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, about 100 Australians are supporting those organizations, and at least 20 people have returned home after participating in the conflicts.

The ISIL terrorists are in control of some areas in Syria and have captured large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.

They are notorious for carrying out horrific acts of violence in the areas they have taken, including the mass execution of civilians as well as including public decapitations and crucifixions.

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