The US has formally asked Australia to expand its role fighting against Islamic State (IS) to include Syria, local media reported.

The request was reportedly sent to the Australian embassy in Washington on Thursday.
The government would say only that the request would be “properly considered”.
The move would allow the Australian air force, already involved in air strikes over Iraq, to pursue IS targets in Syria as well.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, who sits on Australia’s national security committee, said IS did not recognize borders and Australia had an obligation to “do what we can” to stop them.

The Australian newspaper reported that the US request included enhanced intelligence gathering, support for US and coalition fighter planes in Syrian air space and the potential for Australian airstrikes.