19.7 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Iraq deal on special forces imminent: PM

Latest News

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Other News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

COVID weekend summary: Aquarius and a new Tweed case

The Northern NSW Local Health District is encouraging residents and visitors to Byron Bay to get tested for COVID-19, after being notified of a number of confirmed cases in the area during the last week.

Editorial – A potted history of local elections

The election of the Byron Shire mayor and councillors on December 4 will be the ninth such poll this newspaper has covered.

New Russian satellite-killer produces decades of fallout

‘Irresponsible’ Russian anti-satellite weapon sends shockwaves through space community with 1500 fresh fragments cannoning about in low-Earth orbit.

What’s Nu in COVID variants? Highlighted need for stronger Australian contribution

According to the End COVID For All campaign the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in Botswana, most likely to be called 'Nu', underlines the need for Australia to step up its contribution to co-oridnated global efforts to prevent the virus’ spread and mutation.

From ‘struggle street’ to Ballina’s only woman running for mayor: Cr Cadwallader’s Echo Q&A

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader is the only woman in the shire running for mayor and arguably one of the most competitive candidates.

Prime minister Tony Abbott with members of Australia's armed forces. (File photo: Crikey
Prime minister Tony Abbott with members of Australia’s armed forces. (File photo: Crikey

Australian special forces could be working with Iraqi troops within days as the two governments finalise legal protections.

While RAAF Super Hornets have undertaken one bombing raid against Islamic State targets since the October 3 start of the mission, Australia’s pre-deployed 200 special forces members have yet to begin training and assisting Iraqi ground forces.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the process for getting legal protections in place was taking longer than expected.

But he was confident it would be resolved in the next few days so Australian forces could deploy into Iraq to advise and assist the Iraqi security forces, Mr Abbott said on Wednesday.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has expressed concerns about the use of foreign troops, rather than simply air support, saying it could cause “justifiable fears and concerns among the Iraqi population”.

Asked whether such concerns were holding up the deployment, Mr Abbott said Australia had no intention of sending in combat troops.

‘”We are not proposing independent combat operations by Australian and other coalition forces,’ he said.

‘It is about helping the people of Iraq to reclaim their country.’

Australia’s defence force chief Mark Binskin has attended a briefing with other coalition military leaders at the US Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, hosted by chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

‘ISIL is an adaptive enemy but the coalition is agile and we have the ability, as partners, to come together to provide the capabilities required to disrupt and degrade their attack,’ Air Chief Marshal Binskin said after the meeting.

‘It will take a comprehensive and sustained effort from the international community to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.’

US President Barack Obama told reporters after the meeting the mission in Iraq, now involving 60 nations, was achieving its short-term aims against IS, also known as ISIL, but would be a “long-term campaign”.

‘Because of the numbers of foreign fighters that are being attracted, and the chaos that ISIL was creating in the region, ultimately it will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States, Europe, and far-flung countries like Australia that have already seen terrorist networks trying to infiltrate and impact (them),’ Mr Obama said.

RAAF Super Hornet aircraft have flown seven combat missions in Iraq since federal cabinet gave the green light on October 3.

However, bombs have been dropped on Islamic State targets on only one of those missions.

Meanwhile, the presence of New Zealand’s defence chief Lieutenant-General Tim Keating at the US talks has sparked debate over an NZ military role in Iraq.

NZ Prime Minister John Key said it was a regular “advisory” meeting, but the Labour opposition said it appeared Mr Key appeared to have unilaterally decided the military would take part in the fight against ISIL.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

Last chance for tickets to Byron Shire Council Meet the Candidates forum

Today is your last chance to get tickets to tonight’s Byron Shire Meet the Candidates forum in the Byron Theatre.