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SYDNEY, August 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Australia is prepared to assist US forces as they fight to repel an extremist onslaught in the north of Iraq, Defense Minister David Johnston said on Monday.
"We are ready to assist in whatever way we can should we be asked to assist by the Americans and Iraqi government," he told ABC radio. However, at this stage, Australia has not been asked to play a combat role, he said.
The situation in Iraq “could turn very, very nasty in a very short space of time,” he said in an interview with ABC.
Several days earlier, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbot said the country could also join the humanitarian airlift to rescue thousands of civilians from the war-torn region.