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03:19

Belgium: NATO should scale up military training in Iraq - Stoltenberg

Belgium, Brussels
January 21, 2020 at 19:38 GMT +00:00 · Published

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc should scale up military training of Iraqi security forces. Stoltenberg was speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.

"I regret that both the global coalition to defeat Daesh where all NATO allies are members and also NATO is a member has been forced to suspend the training activities to provide to Iraq. I regret that but I really hope that we resume those activities as soon as possible because Iraq needs support. If not, we risk that Iraq would slide into conflict and ISIS may return," said Stoltenberg.

The training mission was suspended after a US missile strike killed Iran's Quds Force general Soleimani earlier this month.

"I believe there is a potential for NATO to do more, but as I stated not mainly in combat. The issue we are looking into is not whether we can launch new combat operations. The issue is whether we can do something that prevents us from being forced into new combat. Prevention is better than intervention," added Stoltenberg.

In the last few days Stoltenberg held talks with Iraqi officials and Jordan's King Abdullah in attempt to resume the training.

03:19
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NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc should scale up military training of Iraqi security forces. Stoltenberg was speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.

"I regret that both the global coalition to defeat Daesh where all NATO allies are members and also NATO is a member has been forced to suspend the training activities to provide to Iraq. I regret that but I really hope that we resume those activities as soon as possible because Iraq needs support. If not, we risk that Iraq would slide into conflict and ISIS may return," said Stoltenberg.

The training mission was suspended after a US missile strike killed Iran's Quds Force general Soleimani earlier this month.

"I believe there is a potential for NATO to do more, but as I stated not mainly in combat. The issue we are looking into is not whether we can launch new combat operations. The issue is whether we can do something that prevents us from being forced into new combat. Prevention is better than intervention," added Stoltenberg.

In the last few days Stoltenberg held talks with Iraqi officials and Jordan's King Abdullah in attempt to resume the training.

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