Australia will deploy more troops in Afghanistan to conduct advisory and training missions to the Afghan security forces following a request from NATO, Defence Minister Marise Payne said on Monday.

“Given the centrality of Afghanistan in the global fight against terrorism, an enhanced Australian contribution to the resolute support mission is both timely and appropriate,” Payne told the Senate.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government was open to the possibility of sending more troops to Afghanistan in response to a request made by NATO during his trip to the Middle East, Efe news reported.

According to the announcement on Monday, Australian authorities have confirmed the commitment to send an additional 30 troops to Afghanistan without specifying the date of deployment.

Australia has so far deployed 270 members of its Armed Forces in Afghanistan, with some 780 in Iraq and Syria, where they are assigned to provide assistance and training and to collaborate in aerial strikes, respectively.

Australia is currently conducting military training of the local army in Afghanistan, where the country deployed up to 1,500 soldiers for operations between 2001 and 2014, which was considered the largest military contribution of a country outside the Atlantic Alliance.

First Published | 29 May 2017 8:47 AM
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