Image: Australian Institute of International Affairs

Australia To Deploy Additional Troops and Military Resources To The Middle East

Australia will deploy more troops and military resources to the Middle East to support the evacuation of citizens and permanent residents.

Defence Minister Richard Marles made the announcement on Tuesday morning, saying Australia would send two Royal Australian Air Force planes, a C-17 aircraft, and a KC 30 tanker refueller.

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A significant number of troops – the number not to be revealed –  will be deployed to an undisclosed location – which would not be Israel, Mr Marles said.

He told Today the role of the additional resources is to help evacuate Australian citizens caught in the conflict zone.

“We are putting that in place as a contingency to support Australian populations in the Middle East, bearing in minding that this is a very volatile situation and we just don’t absolutely know which way it goes from here, as the world really holds its breath watching it,” he said.

Home affairs minister Clare O’Neil said the deployment would “make sure we’re prepared for any contingency”.

“There’s a lot of volatility in the Middle East at the moment and we don’t really know what’s going to happen from week to week,” she said.

“It’s going to be important to have the assets in the region in particular to help further Australians who might be stuck in conflict’s way.”

Meanwhile, Mr Marles advised all Australians in the Middle East to take any commercial options available if they are trying to flee the area.

He said the government would do what they can to assist but the Middle East is in a “volatile situation” and the first available option to depart should be taken.

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