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NATO to expand its mission in Iraq: secretary-general

Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a virtual press conference after a meeting of the Western alliance’s ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on October 23, 2020. (Photo Credit: NATO Press Release)
2020-10-24

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SULAIMANI — Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday (October 23) that the Western alliance will expand its training mission in Iraq over the coming year.

During a virtual press conference following a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg said that security situation remains challenging in Iraq, but that “NATO remains committed to stepping up our support.”

“Our aim is to help build self-sustaining Iraqi forces able to fight terrorism, prevent the return of ISIS, and stabilize their country,” he said, according to a press release.

He also said NATO “will continue to consult with the Global Coalition [to Defeat Islamic State] and the Iraqi authorities about the way ahead.”

The NATO ministers also discussed recent attacks against foreign missions and forces in Iraq, which Stoltenberg described as “concerning.”

In October 2018, NATO established a training and capacity-building mission in Iraq at the request of the then Iraqi government as part of the effort to strengthen the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

(NRT Digital Media)