Australia could potentially find itself embroiled in another conflict in the Middle East after Iran launched a revenge rocket attack on American air bases in Iraq.
The assassination last week of Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qasem Soleimani, by a US drone strike, possibly puts 450 Australian Defence Force personnel in harm's way.
Iran has today launched more than a dozen ballistic missile attacks on the Ayn al Asad air base in western Iraq and the Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan, in retaliation at US President Donald Trump for ordering the January 3 killing.
Should tensions escalate, Australian troops could find themselves involved in the third potential Persian Gulf War in less than three decades.
Australia took part in two campaigns against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990 and 2003 and were deployed in the Middle East again five years ago to fight Islamic State.
Professor Greg Barton, an expert in global Islamic politics from Deakin University, said President Trump had made a strategic 'blunder' that could drag Australia into a US-led war with Iran as ISIS re-emerged in Iraq.
'We get embroiled in a horrible mess. The Australian Defence Force certainly gets dragged in,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'What's likely to happen is that we'll see growing Islamic State insurgency in Iraq which Iran might be prepared to let run to put pressure on the West.'
Professor Barton said it was possible Iran could attack Saudi Arabia, an oil-rich ally of the US, which would draw American allies into a new Middle East conflict.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed no Australians were injured in the attacks, following an update from the Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell.
'I have been advised by the CDF directly that all Australian personnel as well as our diplomatic personnel ... at this point are safe,' he told reporters at Kangaroo Island in South Australia on Wednesday.
'But it is obviously a very fluid situation. We're doing everything to ensure their continued safety.'
Australian troops are in potential danger after Iran launched a revenge rocket attack on American air bases in Iraq (pictured is a rocket being launched at the Al-Asad air base in Iraq that is home to American and Coalition forces)
How many Australian troops are in Iraq?
The Australian Defence Force now has 450 troops stationed in Iraq and the Middle East
Why were they sent there?
A contingent was sent there in 2014 as part of Operation Okra, Australia's contribution to the global fight against Islamic State
Source: Department of Defence
General Campbell has been told to do whatever is necessary to keep Australians safe.
'I gave authority this morning, to do what was necessary and to take what actions and decisions were necessary to protect ADF personnel and diplomatic staff,' Mr Morrison said.
The Prime Minister has not ruled out withdrawing Australians from Iraq, where they were deployed in 2014 to fight Islamic State.
'We will continue to assess the situation,' he said.
'At this stage, it is a matter of protecting and defending