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Australia Joins Airstrikes Against ISIS 'Death Cult' In Iraq

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Friday that his country would be assisting the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq.

Australia Joins Airstrikes Against ISIS 'Death Cult' In Iraq
Getty Images / Cole Bennetts
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The U.S-led international coalition against ISIS grew Friday as Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the country will send eight fighter jets to participate in airstrikes in Iraq.

AUSTRALIAN PM TONY ABBOTT VIA BBC: "ISIL must be disrupted and degraded at home and abroad, so it's absolutely in Australia's national interests that this mission go ahead."

Describing ISIS as a "death cult," Abbott also announced that Australian special forces will be deployed to Iraq to assist and advise the Iraqi military. They will be joining U.S., Canadian and British forces already on the ground. 

It's notable that Australia will only be joining in airstrikes within Iraq, not Syria. Many countries have been reluctant to strike ISIS in Syria and the only countries currently doing so are the U.S. and its Arab allies.

Australia has already been confronting ISIS at home, holding a series of raids in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in September and arresting people who it linked with the jihadist group.  

A statement by the Australian government says at least 60 Australian citizens are fighting with various terrorist groups in the Middle East and at least 100 are supporting them from home.

Australia's announcement comes only hours after Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly to allow Turkish military action against ISIS and allow foreign troops to use Turkish territory to launch operations.

This video contains images from Getty Images.