NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday the alliance decide to expand a NATO training mission in Iraq from 500 to around 4,000 personnel while defence ministers of member states held off on making a final decision on NATO’s 9,600-strong support mission in Afghanistan.
The increase in NATO’s Iraq mission was aimed at strengthening the country’s military as it looks to curb the resurgence of the Islamic State (IS) group, said Stoltenberg.
”The size of our mission will increase from 500 personnel to around 4,000,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the increases would be ”incremental”.
”Training activities will now include more Iraqi security institutions, and areas beyond Baghdad.” Stoltenberg insisted that the mission was being carried out ”at the request of the Iraqi government”. ”It is carried out with full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. Läs artikel