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Australia Urges More European Nations Join IS Air Strikes

August 31, 2015

Australia is urging more European countries to take part in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq in an effort to help end the refugee crisis in Europe.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said IS militants are mainly responsible for driving millions of people from their homes in Iraq and Syria and hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge in Europe.

She said in Sydney on August 31 that more than "40 percent of the people currently seeking asylum in Europe are from Syria, and we need a united front to defeat the terrorist organizations that are driving the displacement of so many people."

Bishop said there are some 60 countries providing some aid to the U.S.-led coalition -- but most of them not involved in the air strikes.

But she added "the Europeans must be involved in the coalition air strikes and the effort in Syria and Iraq."

Australia has six jets and two support aircraft taking part in the air strikes in Iraq.

An estimated 340,000 migrants have reached the EU so far this year.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa


Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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