Germany to train anti-IS fighters in Iraq
Germany said Thursday it planned to send around 100 soldiers to northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga fighters battling the Islamic State militant group.
Berlin: Germany said Thursday it planned to send around 100 soldiers to northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga fighters battling the Islamic State militant group.
The defence and foreign ministers agreed on a proposal to present to the rest of the cabinet for a vote expected next week, the ministries` spokesmen told reporters.
Parliament, where the governing parties have a large majority, is expected to give its approval by the end of the year.
The German soldiers would join a broader international mission training Kurdish fighters "in a coordinated operation with other countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and a few Scandinavian countries", the defence ministry spokesman said.
US Lieutenant General James Terry on Monday told reporters that members of the coalition against IS made initial pledges last week to bring "close" to 1,500 additional forces to Iraq to train and assist the country`s army.
He did not specify which of the 60 coalition countries, which include Germany, would be taking part.
Germany opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but has already supplied arms and military equipment to the Kurds in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil.
It has also trained peshmerga on German soil and deployed a handful of Bundeswehr soldiers to Iraq on a training mission.
IS made huge gains in Iraq earlier this year, advancing to Baghdad`s doorstep, committing atrocities against civilians and stoking fears the militants might seize control of the country from the hapless Iraqi government.