Australian PM Abbott:

  • Says Australian aircraft to join coalition strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq
  • Authorises deployment of Australian special forces into Iraq in support of Iraqi troops

Headlines via Reuters

More at the Sydney Morning Herald:

Tony Abbott has given the go-ahead for RAAF fighters to begin air strikes against the feared Islamic State in Iraq, marking the start of Australia’s military involvement in a campaign likely to last months or even years.

The federal government has also given the green light to sending about 200 special forces advisers to Iraq to advise and assist local forces on the ground, though the Australians will not take part in independent combat operations.