Australia has co-sponsored UN sanctions on terror groups operating in Iraq and Syria as it offers resettlement to at least 4400 Syrians and Iraqi refugees.
Australia will slap sanctions on people linked to terror groups in Iraq and Syria, as it sets aside at least 4400 places for refugees fleeing Islamic militants in the Middle East.
Australia co-sponsored an overnight resolution at the United Nations Security Council condemning all acts of terrorism by the Islamic State – also known as ISIL or ISIS – and the Al-Nusrah Front.
But it’s the Islamic State’s offensive against minority groups in northern Iraq that has prompted a global outcry and an emergency humanitarian response.
Australia has been air-dropping supplies to thousands of Yazidi families trapped on a mountain by IS extremists.
The United States confirmed overnight it had launched another round of air strikes against IS militants in northern Iraq, but still insists it has no plan to put troops on the ground.
Australia stresses its involvement for now remains humanitarian.
Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek says Australia has a “moral obligation” to help Iraq but warns Labor would take a dim view of any calls for military intervention.
“We need to be cautious in our involvement,” she told Sky News on Sunday, but added, “if you were seeing acts of genocide, I don’t think Labor would be saying we stand back and allow those acts of genocide to continue.”
The government confirmed on Sunday that a minimum 2200 resettlement places will be reserved for Iraqi refugees, including ethnic and religious minorities fleeing IS fighters, and 2200 for Syrians.
It also committed to accept at least 4500 Syrians over the next three years.
The resettlement places are being offered “predominantly” in the special humanitarian program, which receives up to 40,000 applications a year.
Australia is chairing a UN committee that is examining options to further punish those trying to recruit members to terror groups across the Middle East.
The latest round of UN sanctions to be adopted in Australian law enforce targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on six more people associated with ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front.
The government has already announced it will seek to end social security payments to Australians heading overseas to fight with terror organisations.