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Australia To Send Special Forces To Iraq

Australia's foreign minister said on October 19 she had reached a deal with Baghdad for the deployment of about 200 special forces to support Iraqi troops in their fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Julie Bishop said she had met top Iraqi officials to finalize an agreement allowing Australian special forces, who have been waiting in the United Arab Emirates to deploy to Iraq.

Bishop spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a two-day trip to Baghdad.

Bishop said the forces' mission would be to "advise and assist the Iraqi government in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces."

Australia has said the special forces would be deployed in an advisory capacity and that Australia had no plans to send ground forces to fight alongside Iraqi troops.

Australia was one of the first nations to join the United States' aerial campaign against IS militants.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

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