UN backs Australia's role in Iraq


However he talked down reports a C-130 Hercules aircraft undertaking Australia's second humanitarian airdrop to the town of Amerli had come under fire from extremists. "I'm not advised that they came under direct fire themselves," he said.

The UN Secretary-General says it's important nations such as Australia help address the situation in Iraq. "Without addressing this issue through certain means, including some military and counter-terrorist actions, we will just end up allowing these terrorist activities to continue," he told reporters in Auckland on Tuesday.

Defence chief Mark Binskin tweeted there were no reports the transport came under fire, but ground fire was "not unusual in a war zone". "Obviously, flying humanitarian air drops into combat zones are full of risk.

Labor leader Bill Shorten restated his support for the airdrops and weapons airlift but acknowledged there were easy options there. "Providing the Kurds with light weapons, the opportunity to defend themselves against people who would kill their families, to me is the only logical choice here," Mr Shorten said.

Australia's international standing will go up a notch when Foreign Minister Julie Bishop accepts this week a formal invitation for the nation to become an "enhanced partner" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Mr Abbott told a coalition joint party room meeting there had been no requests for combat troops and there was a "world of difference" between the war in 2003 and today. "What we do will be done with appropriate due process," he said.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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