ALREADY ONBOARD: A French fighter jet lands on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in preparation for strikes against IS targets.
ALREADY ONBOARD: A French fighter jet lands on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in preparation for strikes against IS targets. PATRICK Bazafp

Bishop urges more nations to join in strikes against IS

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has called on more European nations to join air strikes against IS in the Middle East.

Ms Bishop told The Australian that European countries should help end the growing asylum-seeker crisis gripping the continent by helping bomb IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

She said 40% of the asylum seekers trying to enter Europe were from Syria.

The latest United Nations refugee agency report showed the number of people seeking asylum in Europe grew 24% over the past year.

It showed European countries recorded 348,500 asylum applications from Syrian refugees between April 2011 and July 2015.

That was on top of at least one million Syrian refugees believed to be housed in refugee camps in Turkey and did not include the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

"This humanitarian crisis is unprecedented," Ms Bishop said.

Ms Bishop's call comes as the Australian Government considers whether to join the US in air strikes against Syria - an expansion of Australia's role beyond Iraq's borders.

The government will brief the Opposition on the proposed change and Labor has previously offered bipartisanship on security issues.


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