Photography: Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Reuters.
The Australian government is sending more military personnel and aircraft to the Middle East as part of “Operation Beech”, according to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Richard Marles.
The government has sent two additional military aircraft to the area, bringing the total to three, Marles told Nine News, a CNN affiliate in Australia, on Wednesday (25).
“The deployment of Australian aircraft and supporting defense personnel is a precautionary measure to support all of the Australian government’s contingency options due to the risk of the security situation deteriorating further,” Marles said on Wednesday.
The military aircraft will be accompanied by a “large number of military personnel” to support its delivery and a “small commando detachment”, Nine News reported.
He added that Australian forces were not there for operational reasons, but rather as an “emergency” to support Australians in the region.
He also described the situation in the region as “difficult and rapidly evolving”, adding that Australians wishing to leave were encouraged to choose the first commercial option available.
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