• Australia finalizing legal go-ahead for special forces in Iraq

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    SYDNEY: Australian special forces are ready for action in Iraq, but they await final legal approval, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday.

    “Our forces are ready to go,” Abbott told reporters. “We are finalizing the legal documentation.

    “I hope that can be done very quickly because it is an absolutely critical mission on which our forces will be embarked to advise and assist Iraqi armed forces.”

    Australia deployed some 600 troops and several aircraft to the United Arab Emirates in mid-September in preparations to join the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State group.

    The prime minister last week clarified that Australian special forces were “not envisaged” to become directly involved in combat missions but would help Iraqi forces with planning and coordination.

    AFP

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