A key security advisor says the time has come for Australia to deploy forces in Syria, expanding our role in the war Islamic State terrorists.
Victorian Liberal MP Dan Tehan, who is chairman of the federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, says we are “ignoring the suffering of innocent Syrians”.
He proposes Australia steps up its commitment by sending Australian Special Forces soldiers and intelligence officials into Syria, plus Hornet jet fighters to bomb terrorist cells.
At present, Australia’s contribution to the United Nations-led push to defeat IS in the Middle East is limited to warplanes attacking IS in Iraq, which neighbours Syria.
Around 600 ADF members are supporting Operation Okra, which includes a surveillance plane and a midair refuelling aircraft, plus 300 troops on the ground in Iraq training and advising Iraqi forces.
Writing in the Herald Sun, Mr Tehan says, “The time has come for Australia to join the military coalition seeking to destroy Daesh (IS) in Syria.
“We are acting in Iraq against Daesh, with our Hornets launching air strikes on a regular basis. We should be doing the same in Syria.’’
The Herald Sun reports that Prime Minister Tony Abbott has privately indicated support for sending Hornets to Syria and that informal talks with the Obama Administration have begun on missions that would target Australian jihadists in the Middle East.
The military expansion is a timely proposal, with news today there are eight Australians, including defence officials, public servants and a Victorian MP, on the list of up to 1500 people on an Islamic State death list. Private details of these people, such as phone numbers and addresses have been shared on social media by the terror group.
Tell us, would you support Australia sending bombers and troops into Syria to target Islamic State?