2014-09-01 The Aussies have come a long way to join in the fight against ISIS.
The Australian Prime Minister has made it clear in no uncertain terms how he views ISIS.
PM Tony Abbott has referred to the the jihadist group a “death cult” involved in ethnic cleansing.
“As things stand, doing nothing means leaving millions of people exposed to death, forced conversion and ethnic cleansing,” Abbott said.
“I refuse to call this hideous movement ‘Islamic State’ because it’s not a state; it is a death cult,” added the prime minister.
“In good conscience, Australia cannot leave the Iraqi people to face this horror, this pure evil, alone or ask others to do in the name of human decency what we won’t do ourselves.
“It is right to do what we prudently and proportionately can to alleviate this suffering, to prevent its spread and to deal with its perpetrators.”
Backing up his words, the RAAF has been flying missions to provide humanitarian relief to the human targets of ISIS.
“Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task.”
The announcement came as Australia joined the US military in dropping humanitarian aid to the besieged Iraqi town of Amerli, where thousands of Shia Turkomen have been cut off by jihadist rebels from receiving food, water and medical supplies.
Australian Defence Force chief Mark Binskin said at a press conference that 15 pallets of food, water and hygiene packs – enough for 2,600 people for a day – were dropped by a C-130 earlier Sunday.
He added that the delivery by Australia of arms and munitions “from Eastern Bloc countries” to the Kurdish peshmerga would take place “in the coming days”, and in their case would involve handovers on the ground rather than airdrops.
“We want to make sure that we know where the arms… and the munitions go when we deliver, so at this stage there won’t be a drop. We’ll be landing and handing them over to officials from the peshmerga,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
Albania, Croatia and Denmark have also committed to providing Kurdish forces with arms and equipment, the US said Wednesday.
Abbott said there was a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Iraq and Australia was working with other countries to alleviate it and “address the security threat posed by ISIL”.
This has led to the RAAF already coming under fire in Iraq from ISIS forces.
According to a story in NewsCorp Australia published today:
AN AUSTRALIAN C-130 Hercules transport aircraft came under fire from Islamic militants during a humanitarian mission over Iraq.
News Corp Australia can reveal the aircraft was lucky not to be hit when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked it — as it swooped in low to drop aid packages to civilians in the town of Amirli in northern Iraq — with heavy machine guns and small arms last weekend.
The drop took place at night so the rebels would have been firing by noise rather than sight as the darkened planes flew below 300 metres to make the delivery of 15 bundles of water, biscuits and hygiene packs.
US fighter jets flying top cover for the mission responded to the enemy attack with maximum force after being guided to the ISIS fighters by a high flying US Air Force J-Star spy plane fitted with powerful ground attack radars.
“The top cover provided by American aircraft was very effective,” a source close to the operation told News Corp Australia.
The biggest risk to Australian aircraft comes from man portable shoulder fired missiles, but a lucky shot from a rifle could potentially bring down an aircraft. Military aircraft are fitted with effective missile counter measures…..
The RAAF has about 400 ADGs based in Number One and Number Two Airfield Defence Squadrons with a mixture of full-time and high-readiness reserve personnel.
Unlike regular troops, the ADG mission is to defend rather than to take ground.
That means operating in small teams of between four and 10 with similar tactics to special-forces units.