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Friday, October 17, 2014

Australian troops denied entry into Iraq

Major General Craig Orme

Australia's 200 Special Forces are stuck in the United Arab Emirates. They've been there for over a month, waiting for the Iraqi government to give the okay to go onto Iraqi soil on an "advise and assist" basis.

Major General Craig Orme said "For us to put Ausralian troops in another country, we expect legal cover and indemnity so they won't be subject to local law but repatriated to be dealt with under our system."

The Iraqi Foreign Minister has given the impression that he doesn't want 200 Australian soldiers on Iraqi soil.  Britian has so far (officially) sent in 12 combat specialists who have teamed up with the Kurds and so has the US and Germany but they have taken a chance and gone in without the legal cover and indemnity of SOFAs.

Without the SOFA, if Australia went into battle and accidentally shot an Iraqi policeman, they could be arrested and jailed and we are not prepared to take that risk,

It could be that the Iraqi Foreign Minister is under pressure not to make the mistake of surrendering its sovereignty to foreign forces, and by allowing 200 Australian troops onto Iraqi soil, it could be seen as doing just that.

Meanwhile, any Australian citizen fighting with ISIS who is captured in Iraq will be hanged.  "We're supporting the Iraqi Security Forces, so if someone was detained on the battlefield, the Iraqis are managing that process" Major Orme said.

Iraq sentenced 42 convicted terrorists to death by hanging over two days and 26 on another day in January this year and it's likely that the 60 Australians fighting for ISIS will be either killed or captured on the battlefield.  And it won't be any good pleading with Australia to save them. 

President Obama has no intention of filling up Guantanamo Bay with untried terrorists, a mistake made by the Bush administration - he's made it very clear that this is Iraq's war and what they do with captured fighters is their business.

Iraq is a signatory to the Third Geneva Convention which states that prisoners are dealt with by the state and not by the troops who capture them.