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Australia to deliver arms in Iraq at US request: Tony Abbott

Australia to deliver arms in Iraq at US request: Tony Abbott

Australian will help deliver arms to Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State forces in Iraq while participating in further humanitarian air drops.

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott said that the US government had requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multinational effort.

“Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task,” the prime minister said in a statement on Sunday. “Australia’s contribution will continue to be coordinated with the government of Iraq and regional countries”, Abbott said.

The move follows RAAF drops of humanitarian supplies to thousands of people stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. The Iraq government and other regional countries will co-ordinate Australia's contribution.

The Labor opposition signaled its support for the decision, saying the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were the only effective barrier to Isis slaughtering civilian populations while advancing through northern Iraq.

Australia continued to assist with humanitarian airdrops, joining the US, France and the UK in another operation to deliver aid to the people of Amirli, according to a statement issued by Pentagon on Sunday.

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