According to News Corp correspondent Paul Toohey, while elements of the Iraqi government had expressed concerns about agreements to allow foreign ground troops into the country, including Australia Special Operations Task Group,
“the Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets flying combat missions over Iraq operate under an agreement separate to the planned SoFA. It was negotiated between Baghdad and Coalition countries and gives them diplomatic clearance to fly over Iraq and conduct strikes.”
On 20 October Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters that as a result of her negotiations with the Iraqi government, “we have reached agreement on the legal framework for our Special Forces to be deployed,” clearing the way for the Special Operations Task Group to begin operations in Iraq.
On 5 November the government announced that the SOTG could begin operations in Iraq within a week, but that the agreement would not be disclosed. Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston said that
“The government of Iraq has asked that we not reveal the nature of the arrangement between the two countries.”
Status of Forces, Australian Forces Abroad, Nautilus Institute
Brendan Nicholson “Way now cleared for Australian commandos to help Iraqi fight”, The Australian, 20 September 2014
Brendan Nicholson, “Legal hurdles cleared for 200 armed Diggers to enter Iraq“,The Australian 5 November 2014.
Paul Toohey, “Australia’s Special Forces troops Iraq bound for Islamic State fight stuck in UAE“, news.com.au, 15 October 2014