Abbott Government Commits Defence Aircraft To Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL In Iraq

The Abbott government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the decision at a joint press conference with the Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, following a Cabinet meeting.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly,” Abbott said. “Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.” [Read more…]


Abbott Announces Assistance For Military Airlift To Kurds; No Request Yet For Further Action

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia will join an airlift of military equipment to the Kurds in northern Iraq.

PM Tony Abbott and CDF Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin at their joint press conference today

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Abbott said the government had agreed to a request from the Obama Administration. The US, UK, Canada, France and Italy will also be involved in the airlift.

Abbott said “no specific request” has been received from the Obama Administration for “stepped up military activity”. He said that “just because we would prefer to stand aside from these conflicts doesn’t mean that these conflicts will stand aside from us”. Any request would be considered according to a range of criteria, including whether there is an achievable overall objective and a clear role for Australian forces. [Read more…]


Morrison Confirms 31 Dead From Asylum Boat Sinking

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the deaths of 31 asylum seekers from a capsized boat off the West Java coast on Friday.

There are 22 survivors from the boat.

Morrison

Morrison spoke today at his second weekly press briefing on asylum issues. He was accompanied by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin. Later, Shadow Immigration Minister Tony Burke responded to Morrison. [Read more…]


Five Australian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Three Australian soldiers have been killed by a rogue Afghan soldier in Afghanistan and two members of the SAS have died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.

Details of the incidents have been announced by the Acting Chief of the ADF, Air Marshal Mark Binskin. The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has described this as “the darkest of days for Australia”.

Mark Binskin

The “green-on-blue” incident occurred at a base in southern Oruzgan province yesterday. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack. [Read more…]