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Australia Commits Military Forces to Fight ISIS

 / Updated 
Image: Australia to deploy forces for military action against Islamic State
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) with Chief of the Defense Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binski speaking during a press conference in Darwin, Australia, on Sept. 14. The Australian military will deploy to the Middle East as part of a US-led operation against Islamic State, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on 14 September 2014. 'The government has decided to prepare and to deploy to the United Arab Emirates a military force, ' Abbott said in Darwin. The decision was taken in a meeting of his cabinet and the national security committee, following a request from the US, he said. Australia will to send 600 military personnel and up to eight Super Hornets and other aircraft, Abbott said. Australian forces stationed at the Al-Minhad Air Base in Dubai have been flying weapons to Iraq to aid government and allied forces fighting Islamic State forces. It has also made humanitarian aid drops to civilians caught in the fighting since the Islamic State declared its aim of establishing a caliphate in Iraq and Syria earlier this year. Australian Prime Minister's Office via EPA

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PERTH, Australia - Australia will deploy military forces and aircraft to a global coalition fighting ISIS militants, responding to a request from the United States to become involved militarily in the conflict in Iraq and Syria. A 600-strong force comprising some 400 air force personnel and 200 special forces soldiers will be deployed to the United Arab Emirates and be based at a U.S. headquarters, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday. Eight super hornet fighter jets, an early warning and control aircraft and an aerial refueling aircraft will be prepared and deployed in coming days, he said.

Abbott said the deployment was a “prudent and proportionate” contribution to the coalition and that his government had not yet made the decision to commit troops to combat action. The deployment is the next step in Australia’s involvement in trying to halt the advance of the militants after it last month joined in a multinational relief effort, dropping military equipment and aid to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

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— Reuters

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