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Australia needs to play a role in stopping the Islamic State ‘death cult’, says PM.

Mindful of the divisive debate over the Iraq war in 2003, Mr Abbott told parliament on Monday the government had properly weighed up the risks.

“Many Australians are understandably apprehensive about the risk of becoming involved in another long and costly conflict in the Middle East,” he said. “Doing anything involves serious risks and weighty consequences. But doing nothing involves risks and consequences too.”

Australia could not leave the Iraqi people to face the horror of Islamic State, which he described as a “death cult”.