Taking stock of the refugee crisis – 5 things you need to know
Taking stock of the main developments of Wednesday 9 September.
The five key points.
1. The Abbott government has confirmed Australia will join airstrikes in Syria within the week, targeting Islamic State, not the Assad regime.
2. Mr Abbott says the objective of the mission “is a Middle East comprised of governments which don’t commit genocide against their own people, nor permit terrorism against ours.” A very ambitious task. The commitment is open ended, and he did not rule out putting boots on the ground.
3. Australia will also take 12,000 refugees from the region – giving priority to women, children, families and persecuted minorities. The persecuted minorities will go beyond Christian groups.
4. The prime minister says the 12,000 places will be permanent, and are above and beyond the quotas for the humanitarian intake of 13,750. Abbott says processing of the refugees will be undertaken as soon as possible, consistent with security and health checks.
5. The prime minister has explained his change of mind on the humanitarian commitment – at the weekend he opposed a one-off intake, and today he unveiled one – by arguing he needed time to gather and consider advice.
Photo: AP – A migrant holds two children as they arrived on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey to Lesbos island, Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.