Iraq asks Australia for help in battle against ISIL
Iran Press TV
Sun Jan 4, 2015 4:45PM
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on Australia to help Baghdad in its fight against ISIL militants operating in the Arab country.
Abadi's remarks came on Sunday after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made an unannounced visit to Iraq.
The Iraqi leader's office said in a statement that Abadi 'called on the Australian side to increase the arming and speed up the training and distribution of what is needed by the Iraqi forces to decide the battle and eliminate the [ISIL] organization.'
During a joint press conference, Abbott said Canberra is determined to provide Iraq with various forms of support in its fight against the militants.
The Australian premier also vowed to increase cooperation between the two sides.
Australia is part of a US-led coalition which started targeting the Takfiri militants with airstrikes last August. The strikes, however, have so far failed to root out the terrorists.
About 200 Australian troops are expected to arrive in the country to assist Iraqi forces with training.
The militants have gained control over western and northern parts of Iraq.
The group has been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians since it entered Iraq last June.
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