Australia to Consider U.S. Request for More Military Supportby
Defense Minister Payne says existing contribution significant
Request from the U.S. didn't include more troops on the ground
Australia will consider a request from the U.S. to coalition members to supply more military assistance to counter Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wrote to the coalition of about 40 countries seeking greater cooperation, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Saturday. She confirmed the request did not include additional troops on the ground.
Payne told reporters Saturday Australia would respond to the U.S. request but "is already making a very significant commitment,” especially through air operations and building up local partners.
In a speech Thursday in Singapore, former prime minister Tony Abbott called for more military action in Iraq and Syria involving additional international troops, including from Australia, to combat Islamic State.