AUSTRALIAN military aircraft will soon start targeting Daesh extremists in Syria.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the announcement a short while ago as he committed to taking a further 12,000 refugees fleeing the crisis ravaged country.
Extending ADF operations into Syria has the backing of the Federal Opposition.
"This marks the next phase of Australia's contribution to the international coalition effort to disrupt, degrade and ultimately defeat the Daesh death cult," Mr Abbott said.
"The decision to expand air operations into Syria has been given careful consideration."
Mr Abbott made the commitment in the wake of Iraq and US President Barack Obama's administration calling on Australia for help.
"The legal basis for these operations is the collective self-defence of Iraq," Mr Abbott said.
"The Daesh death cult does not respect borders and threatens the security of Iraq and the international community from its safe havens in Syria."
The Daesh terrorism group controls a massive swathe of territory in eastern Syria where it recruits fanatics to its cause and uses oil revenue to fund its terror activities.
"The extension of the Australian Defence Force's operations into Syria will help protect Iraq and its people from Daesh attacks inside Iraq and from across the border in Syria," Mr Abbott said.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Australia needed to maintain the highest moral standards in relation to Daesh.
"It is important that at all stages we maintain our moral and legal authority," he said.
"The best gift we could give Daesh and the like would be to abandon our moral authority.
"None of us, even those who would not support the extension of the air force operations over parts of Syria, no-one disputes the destructive genocidal violence of Daesh or the scale and scope of the humanitarian crisis gripping the Middle East.
"Our methods must be strategically, legally and morally sound."
The United States, Canada, Arab countries and Turkey are already undertaking military action in the region.
Australia's Air Task Group includes six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. - APN NEWSDESK
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