The Australian Government has announced that it will intensify attacks against ISIS-controlled regions in Iraq and Syria, as part of its counter-terrorism operations.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the government will make necessary amendments to the country's existing domestic law, which is restricting the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) targeting bases in Iraq and Syria.
The changes to be made to the Commonwealth Criminal Code would bring Australia's domestic laws into line with international norms.
Turnbull said: “So I can announce that the Government has reviewed its policy on targeting enemy combatants and earlier this year made an important decision to ensure our forces are empowered to act against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, to the maximum extent allowed by international law.”
As part of this, the ADF’s Air Task Group comprising of 400 personnel will carry out the airstrikes. Additionally, ADF personnel are training and assisting Iraqi ground forces.
Turnbull further added: “The Australian Defence Force and our intelligence agencies are making a real difference in the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
“It is my firm commitment as Prime Minister to ensure that our serving troops will continue to have the resources they need and the support they require in this conflict.
“We must combat all of Daesh: including its financiers and propagandists.
“It is why we must give our agencies the powers they need. To detect. To disrupt. To arrest. And to target.”
The government is investing $100m in Visa risk assessment capabilities to better detect travellers who might threaten the country's security.
Australian Border Force-led counter terrorism unit operations at the country's airports have so far stopped a number of people and over $3m reaching ISIS.
Image: Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: courtesy of DoD photo by US Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen.