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Australian PM Tony Abbott visits Iraq

Sunday, 04 January 2015 12:31

(AFP) Baghdad - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Baghdad on Sunday for talks on aiding Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) state television reported.

Australia is part of a U.S.-led coalition carrying out air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and has deployed special forces troops to assist in training the army.

"Abbott arrived in Baghdad on an official visit to discuss bilateral cooperation between the two countries and... strengthening support and supplying the security forces to confront (ISIS) terrorist gangs," the television said, citing "government sources."

It did not provide further details on the visit.

ISIS spearheaded an offensive that swept through much of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland in June.

The group's rapid expansion and brutality in areas it controls in Iraq and neighboring Syria eventually sparked an international campaign against it.

Dozens of Australians are fighting for Islamic militant groups overseas, raising fears that they could return home and carry out attacks.

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