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Why is Australia supporting US strikes across the Middle East?

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The Albanese government should withdraw its public support for the latest US air strikes on Iraq and Syria.

The attacks on 85 targets without a United Nations Security Council Resolution are clearly a gross breach of international law. They have already caused further instability, and could result in a regional war.

The governments of Iraq and Syria have criticised the military action as a violation of their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sadly these views have hardly been reported in western media.

President Biden says he does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world but his actions tell a different story. The United States could readily prevent it.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles has foolishly offered Australian support for the bombing raids despite the fact that they breach the UN Charter.

Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR) is deeply concerned about these developments.

Regarding the actions of the United States:

  • The US military forces located in Syria are an illegal occupying force.
  • The US military forces in Iraq are deployed despite the Iraqi Parliament passing a resolution calling on the government to end all foreign troop presence in Iraq. In recent days the Iraqi Prime Minister has repeatedly called for US troops to be withdrawn.
  • US support for the Israeli genocide in Gaza has provoked the assaults on its forces in Syria, Iraq and Jordan.

Regarding the actions of the Australian Government:

  • The Government is failing to uphold its legal commitment under Article 2 of the United Nations Charter with respect to the settling of international disputes by peaceful means.
  • What involvement ADF personnel have in the latest attacks is not clear. Australians should be told what our forces are doing and why.
  • Involvement of Australian Defence Force personnel in military attacks against the Houthis in Yemen also appears to be a breach of international law.

AWPR calls upon the Australian Government to:

  • Comply with both the spirit and the letter of the UN Charter in international relations.
  • Honour its commitments under the Genocide Convention.
  • Use its influence with the US Government to end the illegal strikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and to obtain a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Remove Australian Defence Force personnel from positions which may be involved in illegal activities associated with the US military.
  • Provide a full account to the Australian Parliament on Australia’s support for, and involvement in the illegal, or potentially illegal, military activities in the Middle East.

– AWPR Media Release 6 February 2024



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