Iraq Terror: USS George HW Bush for Air Strikes Flown; AU Vows to Follow US
By Athena Yenko | June 16, 2014 8:17 AM EST
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed ordering to fly carrier USS George HW Bush, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, into the Gulf as immediate aid if Iraq will be in need of air strikes to seize militants responsible for the widespread violence and mass killings that started Thursday.
The carrier, known as the largest warships in the world, was flown from the North Arabian Sea convoyed by the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. The ships powered by nuclear reactors can transport 6,000 people.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama said he need a contingency plan in aiding Iraq without having to deploy US troops. The US government also called for Iraqi leaders to work well together otherwise any form of international aid will be futile.
He made the comment at a media conference before leaving Texas to cap his US trip.
Mr Abbott described the situation as difficult, complex and developing. He said that the world is watching on the situation 24/7 and that decisions should all be well thought of.
"As you'd expect the Americans are weighing their options. They'll speak to us and we'll talk to them and we'll see what emerges. Let's see what emerges, but at the moment, we just need to appreciate just how serious a situation this is. The group, which is now in apparent control of large swathes of Iraq and parts of Syria, is a group that was too radical for Al Qaeda. They are an extremist splinter group from the most extreme terrorist group the world has seen, so let's not underestimate just how serious this situation is." Mr Abbott said.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop meanwhile said that financial assistance will likely be the extent of Australia's support to Iraq. She said that Australia is not considering sending out troops to Iraq as of the moment.
"I didn't envisage a circumstance where we would be sending in troops, but we certainly stand ready to support the humanitarian crisis should a request be made," Bishop said.
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