US Secretary of Defense: We agreed with NATO to expand operations in Iraq
The US Secretary of Defense, Mark Asper, announced today, Thursday, his department’s agreement with the NATO alliance on operations in Iraq.
“We have agreed with NATO to expand operations in Iraq,” Esber said at a press conference in Brussels.
NATO announced earlier Thursday that it was expanding its training interest in Iraq, in response to US President Donald Trump’s demand for more work in the Middle East.
“NATO defense ministers have agreed to expand its training mission in Iraq in response to US President Donald Trump’s demand for NATO to do more work in the Middle East region,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg added, “NATO will undertake some training activities led by the Washington-led coalition against ISIS, which means that the decision does not require an increase in the number of Western forces in Iraq, but it will be with the approval of the Iraqi government.”
“Today, NATO ministers … have agreed in principle to further the mission of NATO. This will include, in the first place, some of the training activities being carried out by the international coalition,” Stoltenberg told Reuters at a news conference.
The alliance and the coalition are carrying out two non-combat missions “to train and provide consultations”, with the aim of developing Iraqi security forces, but the two missions have been suspended due to concerns about regional stability after the assassination of the Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani. Source