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Australia to contribute military aircraft to fight against ISIS

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks during a national memorial service as Australians mourn the loss of all victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at St. Patrick's Cathedral on August 7, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell-Pool/Getty Images)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks during a national memorial service as Australians mourn the loss of all victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at St. Patrick's Cathedral on August 7, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell-Pool/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks during a national memorial service as Australians mourn the loss of all victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at St. Patrick's Cathedral on August 7, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell-Pool/Getty Images)

Australia is preparing to contribute up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State (IS) extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement issued that Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific contributions to the international coalition.

US president Barack Obama announced the more aggressive military campaign last week.

Scores of US air strikes have been launched at select targets in Iraq, and US planes and drones will be gathering intelligence on targets before launching air strikes in Syria.

Australia will prepare up to eight F/A18 combat aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft and a KC-30A Tanker and Transport aircraft to be deployed to the United Arab Emirates.

It said special operations personnel who could assist Iraq's security forces were being prepared also, but combat troops were not being deployed.

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