Australia to dispatch 330 more troops to train Iraqi forces

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his country will send 330 more troops to Iraq to train local soldiers fighting against Takfiri ISIL terrorists.
The troops will be stationed in the Taji military base, some 22 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad, from Wednesday for a period of two years, Abbott said on Tuesday.

“We won’t have a combat role. It’s a training mission, not a combat mission,” he emphasized, adding that the mission “is all about trying to ensure that the legitimate government of Iraq has a trained and disciplined and capable force that understands the rules of armed conflict at its disposal to retake the territory which is currently under the control of the death cult,” in reference to the ISIL.

Some 170 Australian troops are already in Iraq advising Iraqi forces. Another 400 air force personnel, stationed in al-Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, are backing Australian airstrikes against the ISIL in Iraq.

Australian troops in Iraq (file photo)

This is while a number of Western countries along with their Middle Eastern allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, initially supported the Takfiri terrorists in 2012 in an attempt to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

After the ISIL swept through parts of Iraq in June 2014, turned against the West’s interests and executed a number of Western hostages, the US and its allies started targeting what are said to be the terrorist group’s positions.

A US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes on what it says are ISIL targets since early August 2014 in Iraq. Alleged ISIL positions have also been targeted in Syria since late September.

The ISIL extremists are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control. They have terrorized and killed people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.