Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
January 17, 2016
During a surprise visit to the Afghan capital, Kabul, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his country will increase its troop commitment to Afghanistan.
Turnbull said on January 18 that his country will add 20 troops to its security mission in Afghanistan, bringing its total presence to 270. The move comes just days after Turnbull rejected a request from U.S. President Barack Obama to commit more Australian troops to the fights against the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
Turnbull is scheduled to travel on to Washington for talks on January 18 and 19 on security issues in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia has lost 41 soldiers during its 12-year participation in security operations in Afghanistan.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP