Tag Archives: Australia

Key Partners In Coalition Against Islamic State | #Coalition #KeyPartners #IslamicStategroup

In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo provided by the U.S Air Force, an F-22A Raptor taxis in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility prior to strike operations in Syria. U.S. coalition-led warplanes struck Islamic State group militants near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, near the Turkish border for the first time Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, activists and a Kurdish official said. The coalition, which began its aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters in Syria early Tuesday, aims to roll back and ultimately crush the extremist group, which has created a proto-state spanning the Syria-Iraq border.In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo provided by the U.S Air Force, an F-22A Raptor taxis in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility prior to strike operations in Syria. U.S. coalition-led warplanes struck Islamic State group militants near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, near the Turkish border for the first time Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, activists and a Kurdish official said. The coalition, which began its aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters in Syria early Tuesday, aims to roll back and ultimately crush the extremist group, which has created a proto-state spanning the Syria-Iraq border. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Russ Scalf).

The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group is growing, with dozens of countries among its ranks. The coalition is contributing a wide range of efforts, from carrying out airstrikes to providing military assistance and humanitarian aid.

Here are some of the key partners in the coalition.


The U.S., which is leading the coalition, has launched dozens of airstrikes on Islamic State targets. It also has sent military advisers, supplies and humanitarian aid to help Iraqi troops and Kurdish forces beat back the insurgents.


Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have participated in airstrikes in Syria. A fourth, Qatar, has played what the Pentagon called a supporting role.

The Emirates and Qatar also host air bases that are being used for the coalition’s aerial campaign against the Islamic State group. U.S. Navy ships involved in the airstrikes are assigned to the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. Saudi Arabia has agreed to host training facilities for Syrian rebels on its territory.


Jordan has launched airstrikes against Islamic State positions, with government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani calling the move “necessary in light of continuous attempts to infiltrate our borders.” The kingdom didn’t give any specifics about its operations, but said the airstrikes aim to insure the country’s security.


Egypt hasn’t announced any specific participation in airstrikes, but President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told the AP that Egypt is “completely committed to giving support,” and will do “whatever is required” to support the coalition.


Israel is offering intelligence estimates and concrete intelligence to the U.S. on the Islamic State group as part of ongoing intelligence sharing between the two countries, an Israeli defense official said. But, he added, Israel wasn’t asked to contribute anything beyond that. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue. The prime minister’s office declined to comment.


Britain said that Tornado fighter bombers, supported by air-to-air refueling aircraft and signals intelligence, are operating over Iraq. Britain’s media has widely reported that six warplanes are on standby in Cyprus, but defense officials have declined to offer specific numbers. Ben Goodlad from IHS Jane’s has said that the Tornado jets offer the coalition enhanced capability to engage moving targets. Britain also has two weapons for long-range strikes: the Tornado’s Storm Shadow cruise missile and the submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missile, he said.


France has carried out airstrikes in Iraq on two occasions since joining the U.S.-led coalition on Sept. 19, firing laser-guided bombs from Rafale fighter planes upon munitions and military hardware stockpiles — first near northern Mosul, then on Thursday, near Fallujah. France is conducting the operations in Iraq from a French air base in the United Arab Emirates. The base, with about 750 French service personnel and six Rafales, is 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) from Mosul, meaning that the planes need refueling in flight to strike in Iraq.


An Australian air force contingent, including eight F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters and two support aircraft, has arrived in the United Arab Emirates. About 600 troops — most of them air force personnel — are being deployed with the aircraft. The jets are expected to be used in airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, although the Australian government has yet to commit to a combat role.


Six F-16 multirole fighters and a contingent of 120 support staff, including eight pilots, to be based in Jordan. Authorized to take part in operations over Iraq for one month, subject to extension if approved by the Belgian government.


Denmark has pledged seven F-16 fighter jets — four operational planes and three reserve jets along with pilots and support staff for 12 months. The U.S. also has asked Danes to provide military trainers to Iraq to school Iraqi and Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State group on the ground. Denmark has already contributed a transport plane with personnel to a U.S.-led humanitarian operation in northern Iraq.


Canada has contributed about 70 special operations soldiers to offer instruction to Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. Early this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Cabinet will be considering a U.S. request to support airstrikes against Islamic State forces. This could include five to eight CF-18 fighter aircraft as well as tanker aircraft. Canada has already contributed two military cargo planes that carried weapons to Kurdish fighters.


Germany isn’t participating in any airstrikes against the Islamic State group. They have sent weapons to Kurdish fighters in Irbil, and a group of Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrived in Germany to receive weapons’ training here by the German army. There’s also German military in Irbil to train the peshmerga fighters in Irbil.


Greece is participating with humanitarian aid and by sending ammunition for Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State group. They haven’t specified any more details on quantities or type of humanitarian aid.


Georgia will be providing humanitarian assistance, not military aid, according to comments made by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday to local news websites.


Hungary has promised to send 15 types of ammunition totaling nearly 6 million units to Iraqi Kurds. Most of the ammunition, 4.1 million cartridges, was the M43 type for the AK-47 assault rifle.


Prime Minister Victor Ponta said his country would offer “logistic, operational and humanitarian” support to the coalition, but not troops. He provided no details of the assistance.


Poland supports the coalition against the Islamic State, but is not actively engaged in combat.

The Associated Press.

Tony Abbott tells UN ISIS has ‘declared war on the world’ #TonyAbbott #ISIS

Australian prime minister says Islamic State extremists ‘aren’t fighting for God’ and are infatuated with death.

Daniel Hurst, political correspondent.
Prime minister Tony Abbott addressing the UN security council

Australia will not flinch in the campaign against terrorism, Tony Abbott has told the UN security council, as the government edges closer to joining the Iraq conflict and leaves the door open to action in Syria.

The prime minister said Islamic State (Isis) had effectively “declared war on the world” by declaring itself a caliphate.

But he told the meeting convened by the US president, Barack Obama, in New York that the world might be heading towards a “moral victory” with growing acceptance “that it can never be right to kill in the name of God”.

Obama said the resolution adopted by the security council required nations “to prevent and suppress the recruiting, organising, transporting or equipping of foreign terrorist fighters as well as the financing of their travel or activities”.

In a speech to the security council, Abbott referred to the shooting death of a person of interest to counter-terrorism police outside a Melbourne police station on Tuesday night, and last week’s large raids in Sydney.

“Last week, an Australian operative in Syria instructed his local network to conduct demonstration killings and this week an Australian terror suspect savagely attacked two policemen,” he said.

“Now, it’s hard to imagine that citizens of a pluralist democracy could have succumbed to such delusions yet clearly they have. The Australian government will be utterly unflinching towards anything that threatens our future as a free, fair and multicultural society, a beacon of hope and exemplar of unity in diversity.”

Abbott said thousands of misguided people from around the world were joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq “because they claim Islam is under threat and because they’re excited by the prospect of battle”.

“But whatever they think or say, these terrorists aren’t fighting for God or for religious faith. At the heart of every terrorist group is an infatuation with death. What else can explain the beheadings, crucifixions, mass execution, rapes and sexual slavery in every town and city that’s fallen to the terrorist movement now entrenched in eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

“A terrorist movement calling itself Islamic State insults Islam and it mocks the duties of a legitimate state towards its citizens. And to use this term is to dignify a death cult, a death cult that in declaring itself a caliphate has declared war on the world.”

Abbott said more than 60 Australians were believed to be fighting with Isis and Al-Nusra and “more than 60 Australians have had their passports suspended to prevent them from joining terrorist groups in the Middle East”.

He referred to the biggest overhaul of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws in a decade by saying the government was acting “to ensure that foreign fighters returning home can be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for a very long time indeed”.

“But we aren’t just dealing with potential terrorists at home, we are tackling their inspiration abroad,” Abbott said. “Our combat aircraft and special forces are now in the Middle East preparing to join the international coalition to disrupt and degrade [Isis] at the request of the Iraqi government.”

Abbott praised Obama for showing leadership in assembling a broad coalition, and said the participation of Middle Eastern countries in US-led air strikes in Syria was “the clearest possible demonstration that the west can’t solve this problem alone and won’t have to”.

“Our goal is not to change people but to protect them,” Abbott said. “It’s not to change governments, but to combat terrorism. Governments that don’t commit genocide against their own people, nor permit terrorism against ours – that is all we seek.”

Abbott said there were grounds for hope because the Isis horror had “generated all but universal revulsion” including condemnation from Muslim leaders.

“Perhaps the realisation is now dawning for all peoples, all cultures and all faiths that it can never be right to kill in the name of God and that would be a moral victory far surpassing any military success,” he said.

Australia has sent to the Middle East about 600 Australian defence force (ADF) members in anticipation of an imminent decision to participate in action against Isis in Iraq.

The expected commitment includes use of Australian Super Hornet combat aircraft against Isis targets in Iraq. Armed Australian military advisers would be sent into the headquarters of Iraqi and Kurdish security forces to help them with planning.

In a media conference after the UN meeting, Abbott left the door open to Australian participation in air strikes in Syria.

Abbott pointed to the participation of five Middle Eastern countries in air strikes in Syria, “which have been justified as I understand it on the doctrine of collective self-defence”.

“We are carefully considering the situation,” he said, without ruling out escalation of Australian involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts.

“We have no intention at this point of seeking to enter into combat operations in Syria. We have no intention of independent combat operations on the ground in Iraq. We are prepared to be helpful.”

Asked about the willingness of Australians to support combat troops on the ground in Iraq, Abbott said: “There’s no doubt that the difficulties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath do cast a long shadow, rightly so. We should be very slow to reach out to conflicts thousands of miles away. This is very different from 2003. For one thing, this conflict for month has been reaching out to us. That’s why it’s important we do what we can at home and abroad to keep our people safe.”

The Guardian.

Australian ‘terror suspect’ killed in Melbourne #Australia #ISIS

by South Asia Desk.
Australian Prime Minister Tony AbbottAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

An 18-year-old man who had made threats against Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been shot dead in Melbourne, reports say.

The man had been under surveillance as a “person of interest”, and was being investigated over claims of terrorism, the ABC broadcaster said.

Two police officers were reportedly stabbed by the man before he was shot.

They have both been taken to hospital and one is reported to be in a critical but stable condition.

The incident happened when the man arrived at a police station in the Endeavour Hills suburb of Melbourne on Tuesday evening.

He had been asked to attend an interview there, ABC reports.

According to Sky News Australia, the man was brandishing a flag of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Security has been tightened across Australia recently, including outside parliamentSecurity has been tightened across Australia recently, including outside parliament.Australia has pledged that its fighter jets will play a part in US-led air strikes on Islamic State positions in IraqAustralia has pledged that its fighter jets will play a part in US-led air strikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq. Last week’s raids are being called Australia’s biggest ever anti-terrorism operation Last week’s raids are being called Australia’s biggest ever anti-terrorism operation.

A police statement said that an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victoria state police officer – part of a joint counter-terrorism team – met the teenager outside the station. It was then that the violence erupted.

The Melbourne Age quoted onlookers as saying that the man had been shouting insults at Mr Abbott and the Australian government in general in the moments before he was shot.

Sources quoted by The Australian said that he was a “known extremist” who was intercepted by two teams of police. The paper said it is believed that he had recently had his passport cancelled.

The incident has occurred amid heightened tensions due to major counter-terrorism raids last week in Sydney and Brisbane.

The raids were aimed at disrupting alleged IS-linked plans to publicly behead a randomly-selected Australian.

Australian authorities believe at least 60 Australians are in the Middle East fighting with IS (also known as Isis or Isil) and other militant groups.

The Oslo Times.

Islamic State urges Muslims to kill Australian ‘unbelievers’ #Australia #ISIS

Islamic State has urged Muslims to take action against any country involved in Iraq working against it. Source: AFPIslamic State has urged Muslims to take action against any country involved in Iraq working against it. Source: AFP

AUSTRALIA has received a direct threat from Islamic State fighters in a chilling new video recording, which the government believes is genuine.

The 42-minute propaganda video, which has been circulated on social media, urges Muslims to launch attacks on civilians in a number of countries including France, Australia and Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News reported.

The audio, which is in Arabic but translated in an 11-page document online, calls on Muslims everywhere to attack anyone involved in the US-led coalition against it.

In the video, which has been uploaded to Twitter, IS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said Muslims should kill “disbelievers” in countries that support “in any manner” the military action against the group in Iraq.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State … kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” Adnani is heard saying, according to the translated document.

“Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”

He also tells supporters they are “like predatory warriors” who “face death bare chests”.

Australia is mentioned three times throughout the translated document including the line where he asks followers why Australia is getting involved in Iraq.

“What threat do you pose to the distant place of Australia for it to send its legions towards you?”

The audio threat mirrors earlier threats issued by IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL, which warned that it planned to kill American journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff as well as British aid worker David Haines.

In a statement given to news.com.au, a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australian agencies regarded the statement issued by IS calling for attacks against members of the international coalition, including Australians, as genuine.

The spokesman said the statement and planned attacks thwarted by security agencies last week supported the government’s strong action to date.

“We are giving our law enforcement and security agencies the resources and legislative powers they need to keep Australia and Australians as safe as possible,” he said.

“We have already provided more than $630 million to boost the counterterrorism capacity of the Australian Federal Police, ASIO, ASIS, Customs and Border Protection and other agencies.

“We are also updating counterterrorism legislation to strengthen our agencies’ capability to prevent and disrupt domestic security threats and we are preparing to contribute to international efforts to disrupt and degrade ISIL terrorists.”

He added that Australia had been a target of terrorist organisations in the past, including from al-Qaeda and its offshoots, “because we are free, pluralist, tolerant, welcoming and accepting”.

“ISIL will claim that our involvement in this international effort is the reason they are targeting us, but these people do not attack us for what we do, but for who we are and how we live,” he said.

The emergence of the latest video comes as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today delivered a tough security statement to parliament, revealing terrorists had been urging attacks against Australian targets for months.

Mr Abbott told Parliament that the major anti-terrorist raids across Sydney and Brisbane last week disrupted an Islamic State plot to stage a shocking execution on home soil.

He also said the government was aware of at least 60 “misguided and alienated Australians” fighting with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, and of at least 100 Australians who are supporting them.

The video also raised alarm bells in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman told the CBC that he condemned the recording and that his country would continue to support efforts to defeat IS.


Flight #MH17: Australia and Malaysia want to revisit crash site for remains

Tony Abbott and his counterpart, Najib Razak, say they need more evidence to build a criminal case against those responsible.

Australian Associated Press. Debris at the crash site of MH17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Photograph: Xinhua/REXDebris at the crash site of MH17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Photograph: Xinhua/REX

Australia and Malaysia have signalled their intention to send investigators back to the MH17 crash site in war-torn eastern Ukraine before winter.

Prime minister Tony Abbott and his counterpart Najib Razak on Saturday agreed to intensify their efforts to recover any human remains still at the crash site and return them to their loved ones.

Australian investigators were forced to suspend their search in August as fighting around the crash site intensified.

It was envisioned they would return but a timeline was never set.

But there could be fresh urgency to get forensic experts back on the ground, with Najib declaring they’d need “at least a few weeks” to scour the vast impact zone for any remaining evidence.

“We intend to send our teams to the crash site as soon as possible,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur following a meeting with Abbott.

“We are very, very keen to re-enter the crash site, especially before winter sets in.”

Both leaders agreed that obtaining further evidence from the site would be crucial for building a criminal case to punish those responsible for the attack.

Australia has pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of arming the separatists in eastern Ukraine suspected of downing the passenger plane.

Nearly 300 people, including 38 Australian citizens and residents, were killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July.

The first bodies of the Australian victims from the tragedy arrived back home earlier this week.

Abbott said it was likely there were still human remains at the crash site and the families of those who died deserved justice and closure.

“We want to be absolutely confident that everything has been done to ensure that no one is left untended and alone,” he said.

He also provided an update on the next phase of the Australian-led search for missing plane MH370, due to begin in a fortnight.

It’s been six months since the plane disappeared without a trace and exhaustive search efforts in the Indian Ocean have so far turned up nothing.

Earlier in the day he thanked Malaysian officials in person for their “courage and resilience” dealing with the twin disasters.

The two leaders also discussed the rise of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, with Najib emphatically condemning Islamic extremism.

Abbott returns home on Sunday after a three-day trip to India and Malaysia.

via Flight MH17: Australia and Malaysia want to revisit crash site for remains | World news | theguardian.com.