Less than a week ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi insisted that no foreign ground troops would be welcome in his nation, and that he was confident the Iraqi military could defeat ISIS with Western air support alone.
Today, Australian officials confirmed they’ve been given approval by the Abadi government for the deployment of their special forces ground troops into Iraq to fight against ISIS.
Australian officials familiar with the situation say that the approximately 200 troops will be “bolstering local forces on the ground,” and that part of their mission will be spotting for US airstrikes.
The terms of the agreement with Iraq were not made public, but officials say that the troops were given needed legal cover in case they end up killing Iraqi civilians in the course of the conflict.
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