Australia is involved in the non-international armed conflicts against the Islamic State group by undertaking airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of the international coalition led by the United States. It is also involved in the international armed conflict in Syria.
Australia is currently a party to a series of armed conflicts. For further information on who is considered a party to an armed conflict, see ‘contemporary challenges – multinational forces: who is a party to the conflict?’ in our classification section.
- Australia is a party to the non-international armed conflict in Iraq against the Islamic State group. Australia joined the international coalition led by the United States in September 2014 and launched its first airstrike against the Islamic State group in Iraq on 9 October 2014. Australia is also providing training to Iraqi Security Forces. D. Murphy, 'First Australian Airstrike in Iraq Bombs ISIS Target, says ADF', The Guardian, 9 October 2014; see also the information provided for by the Australian government on Operation OKRA.
- Australia became a party to the non-international armed conflict in Syria against the Islamic State group after extending its airstrikes against Islamic State groups targets into Syria in September 2015. See ‘Australia Launches First Airstrikes inside Syria’, BBC, 16 September 2015. In its letter to the United Nations Security Council, Australia argued that the action was based on collective self-defence in support of Iraq because the Islamic State group was operating from safe havens in Syria. Letter dated 9 September 2015 from the Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN doc S/2015/963, 9 September 2015.