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German Soldiers Are To Train Peshmerga Fighters

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BUNDESTAG APPROVES MANDATE FOR NORTHERN IRAQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

More German instructors for the Peshmerga

The German Bundestag has approved the extension and expansion of the mission in northern Iraq. Germany is thus stepping up its fight against the terrorist IS. Up to 150 German soldiers are to train Peshmerga fighters and members of the Iraqi armed forces.

The German Bundestag has voted by a large majority to extend the mandate and step up action against the terrorist organisation IS. Up to 150 Bundeswehr soldiers are to train the Iraqi armed forces and the Peshmerga for another year. For one year already Bundeswehr troops have been involved in providing training support for security forces in and around Erbil in northern Iraq.

The Bundestag mandate has been extended until 31 January 2017. The ceiling on troops will be raised from 100 to 150 soldiers.

Joint action against terrorism

The terrorist organisation IS has become a global threat to peace and security. The terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, against Russia and in France provide ample evidence of the threat to world peace. The UN Security Council has already noted this in various resolutions, most recently in November 2015.

The United Nations Security Council called on the international community to take all necessary steps to prevent the terrorist activities of IS.

Strengthening the ability of Iraqi authorities to ensure security

One core element in the fight against the IS is the development of permanent capacities within the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga, the security forces of the regional government in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

Since the multinational training mission began on 15 February 2015 around Erbil, more than 4,800 members of the security forces have undergone training in northern Iraq and in Germany, in line with the German government’s principle of ensuring that all population groups are involved in training.

Germany’s armed forces are acting within the framework and in line with the rules of a system of collective security as laid out in Article 24.2 of the German Basic Law or constitution.

Training center in Erbil

The training support is centered on the area in and around Erbil. Under exceptional circumstances troops can also be deployed outside this immediate region, for purposes of consultation and coordination across the entire Iraqi territory.

In addition, a limited number of German troops will continue to be assigned to staff units of the international alliance against the IS, mainly in Iraq and Kuwait.

Further support planned

The Peshmerga and the security forces of the Iraqi central government are also to receive more military equipment. Only well equipped and well trained troops can hold their own against the IS.

In addition to training and equipment, Germany is considering treating wounded members of the security forces in Germany and offering air transport for the wounded.

Initial successes against the IS clearly visible

The international efforts in the fight against the terrorist organisation are bearing their first fruits – in many places the forward march of the terrorists has been halted. In northern Iraq in particular, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi armed forces have, with international support, managed to force the IS largely into a defensive role.

Political transition in Syria

Military support for the Iraqi armed forces and the regional Kurdish security forces is only one part of the support offered by Germany, and are part of an overall political approach, including development cooperation and support for Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq.

Parallel to this, the German government is proceeding with its efforts to make progress on the political process for Syria, in an effort to prevent the state structures failing completely. Efforts aim to integrate all political, ethic and religious groups in the government and state, bringing peace to the region, and stemming the IS terrorism.

{Source: Federal Government of Germany}

[photo credits-featured image: By Boris Niehaus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

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