The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, met in Saudi Arabia this week with more than 20 senior military leaders from the international coalition to discuss ongoing coalition operations in Iraq to counter Daesh (ISIL).
“Effective action against Daesh requires strong cooperation between international partners. The coalition strategy focuses on a range of objectives from denying Daesh safe havens and building the capacity of Iraqi forces, to supporting effective governance in Iraq and disrupting the flow of money and fighters to Daesh.
“Australia is making a significant contribution to the coalition effort to disrupt and degrade Daesh in Iraq. Since air strikes began in August 2014, Iraqi and Kurdish forces, assisted by the international coalition, have reclaimed more than 700 square kilometres of previously occupied territory and restricted Daesh’s freedom of movement, forcing the terrorists to become increasingly more defensive,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
The Chief of the Defence Force said Australian Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) personnel in Iraq had helped the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and other coalition partners to gather important technical information from disarmed improvised explosive devices (IED), as well as coordinating coalition airstrikes to support the ISF’s ground offensive.
Australian Special Forces advisors have also delivered training in urban combat, close quarters battle skills, IED reduction, counter-sniping, medical skills, counter terrorism operations planning, and command and control.
“Ultimately, we are working to improve the safety and security of the people of Iraq and also helping stop the spread of violent extremism to Australia and our own region,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999