Australia supports Coalition efforts to build on the recent military momentum against Daesh. We particularly welcome recent announcements of expanded contributions – including from the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Norway.
Australia continues to make one of the largest contributions to the counter-Daesh campaign, including:
- 300 personnel to the Building Partner Capacity mission at Taji training Iraqi Army personnel;
- an 80 person Special Operations Task Group providing advice and assistance to the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service; and
- 400 personnel to our Air Task Group which is conducting airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and providing airborne command and control and refuelling capabilities.
The Australian Government has also authorised the deployment of an additional 15 ADF personnel who will provide a counter rocket, artillery and mortar capability at Taji which is currently being provided by another Coalition member.
Our Building Partner Capacity mission at Taji has to date been limited to training Iraqi Army personnel, but as more areas are liberated from Daesh, strong and effective policing and enforcement to maintain security is required.
With this in mind, Australia has agreed to expand the mandate of its Building Partner Capacity training mission to include Iraqi law enforcement agencies.
Iraq’s law enforcement agencies – including the Iraqi Federal and Local Police and border guard forces – will have a key role in defending, holding and stabilising areas liberated from Daesh.
Helping train these law enforcement agencies to hold and stabilise territory will assist Iraq to take responsibility for its own security and provide security for Iraq’s citizens as they return to their cities.
Australia will also increase the flexibility of its Building Partner Capacity mission based in Taji to enable our forces to conduct training at other secure coalition training locations, as the need arises.
These decisions follow a request from the United States Government and a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi for additional assistance.
They will be formalised by the Minister for Defence at the Counter-Daesh Defence Ministers’ meeting in Washington DC on 20 July.