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Troops leave Brisbane for Iraq mission

Defence minister Kevin Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. In an interview with the ABC's Leigh Sales yesterday on Australia's commitment to send  Australian soldiers to fight ISIS in Iraq, Mr Andrews could not name the leader of the islamic State movement. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Defence minister Kevin Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. In an interview with the ABC’s Leigh Sales yesterday on Australia’s commitment to send Australian soldiers to fight ISIS in Iraq, Mr Andrews could not name the leader of the islamic State movement. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Brisbane [AAP]

Up to 70 Australian troops are set to leave Brisbane as part of a training mission to help Iraq fight Islamic State group militants.

Australia is sending an extra 330 personnel to Iraq, as part of a joint training mission with New Zealand.

A contingent of up to 70 is leaving on Wednesday and most of the troops will be from the army’s 7th Brigade, based at the Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera in Brisbane.

The mission, which is expected to span two years, will be restricted to training.

Troops will not leave the Taji military complex, north of Baghdad, where they’ll be based.

The Australians, along with 100 military personnel from New Zealand, will help the Iraqi government prepare sufficient forces to maintain the momentum of the counter-attack against IS and regain control of its territory.

‘What we hope to have achieved within two years is to help train an effective Iraqi regular army that is at the disposal of the legitimate government of Iraq,’ prime minister Tony Abbott said this week.

 


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