The coalition and the opposition have joined to block attempts to bring on debate on Australia’s involvement in Iraq.

The Greens have failed to force a parliamentary debate on Australia’s expanded military involvement in Iraq.

The government and Labor combined to defeat the move when parliament resumed on Monday, a day after Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Australia will take part in an international airlift of military equipment to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists.

The government has ruled out deploying combat troops on the ground, saying there has been no formal request for that type of involvement.

Greens leader Christine Milne said the prime minister and parliament had no greater responsibility than to send the country’s armed service men and women into war.

“I believe that it is time that the Australian parliament was brought into this debate,” she told the Senate in moving a motion to suspend normal business.

Defence Minister David Johnston warned a parliamentary debate on operational activities in Iraq would imperil lives.

What was occurring in Iraq had no comparison in recent history and only Kurdish forces had provided any significant resistance to the forces of the Islamic State, he said.

“We would not want to see that resistance fail for want of ammunition or other supplies.”

Labor defence spokesman Stephen Conroy dismissed the Greens motion as “a stunt to score cheap political points” and rejected the view that parliament should approve international military operations.

However, the Greens won backing from the Palmer United Party’s Jacqui Lambie, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and independent Nick Xenophon.

Senator Lambie interrupted other senators while they spoke, at one stage yelling out “no more dead soldiers”.

Senator Leyonhjelm argued military deployment should be approved by at least two-thirds of both houses.

In the lower house, government and opposition MPs backed a motion by Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen that condemned Islamic State and called on the government, through its seat on the UN Security Council, to work to protect Christians and other minorities in Iraq.

Mr Bowen said a strong statement by an undivided Australia in support of minorities including Assyrians, Chaldeans, Mandaeans and Yezidi peoples was needed.

Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent Andrew Wilkie made separate and unsuccessful bids to have the house debate the use of Australian forces in Iraq.