Australia

Australia to send 30 additional troops to Afghanistan

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull meets troops stationed in Afghanistan last month Image copyright EPA
Image caption Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull meets troops stationed in Afghanistan last month

Australia will increase its troop presence in Afghanistan following a formal request from the US, Canberra has said.

The 30 new military advisers will raise Australia's total deployment to 300, Defence Minister Marise Payne said.

Earlier this month, US authorities recommended sending at least 3,000 more soldiers to fight the Taliban.

In February, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan said he needed more troops to break a "stalemate".

Ms Payne told a Senate estimates hearing that the troops would help train Afghan security forces.

"Given the centrality of Afghanistan in the global fight against terrorism, an enhanced Australian contribution to the resolute support mission is both timely and appropriate," she said on Monday.

Ms Payne said she expected other nations in the military coalition to also commit additional forces.

US combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014, but special forces have continued to provide support to Afghan troops.

There are about 13,000 Nato troops currently in the country.

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