Australia to widen scope of targets in IS air war

Cheryl Sanders
September 1, 2016

Turnbull also flagged stronger surveillance of potential Islamic State supporters in Australia.

Mr Turnbull said while under worldwide law all members of a group like Islamic State can be targeted with lethal force, there was a legal argument Australian law was more restrictive.

"We must combat all of Daesh, including its financiers and propagandists", Mr. Turnbull told lawmakers, using the government's preferred term for Islamic State extremists.

"To defeat them, so must we adapt". To detect. To disrupt.

Southeast Asia is the likely location for the next mass-casualty terrorist attack on Australian citizens, the nation's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday. That meant airstrikes weren't being carried out against so-called "Mad Max technicals"-armed sport-utility vehicles not clearly identified as belonging to militant groups-and supply dumps".

Mr Turnbull said that since the Parliament last met on May 5 the world had witnessed "a seemingly constant barrage of terror attacks", including Nice (84 killed, 201 injured); Orlando (49 killed); a Church in Normandy where a priest was slain by a teenager; and 47 killed at Ankara airport and 23 in Dhaka, with both attacks specifically aimed at foreigners. Late a year ago Australia also started carrying out air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria as part of a 60-nation, US-led coalition.

"This means that ADF personnel will be able to target IS at its core - joining with our coalition partners to target and kill a broader range of IS combatants - which is consistent with global law", Turnbull told Parliament.

"Australia's domestic law is more restrictive than global law".

"This now includes targeting those who may not openly take up arms but are still key to Daesh's fighting capability". Coalition strategists, he said, believed Islamic State had lost close to half of the territory it once held in Iraq and about 20% of its territory in Syria, as well as losing around a third of its front-line fighters.

"We live in an uncertain and complex strategic environment, from territorial disputes in the South China Sea, to Middle East conflicts, tensions on the Korean Peninsula and instability in parts of Africa, broken borders in Europe", he said.

Mr Turnbull foreshadowed that Daesh will soon lose control of Mosul in the near future, saying that "when Mosul and al Raqqa are liberated we can start talking about the destruction of Daesh's so called "Caliphate".

Australia, who joined the US-backed coalition against Islamic State in September 2014, will be able to broaden its activities once legislation is changed.

The legislation would be introduced to parliament next week, Turnbull said.

Other reports by iNewsToday