NATO agrees to increase troops in Iraq from 500, to 4,000

– NATO Defence Ministers Thursday decided to expand NATO’s training mission in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces as they fight terrorism.

“The size of our mission will increase from 500 personnel to around 4,000. And training activities will now include more Iraqi security institutions, and areas beyond Baghdad,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told an online news conference after the end of the 2-day video conference of defence ministers of the 30-member Alliance this afternoon.

“Our presence is conditions-based, and increases in troop numbers will be incremental. Our mission is at the request of the Iraqi government.It is carried out with full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he elaborated.

The NATO chief said he spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi this week and assured him that everything will be done in full consultation with the Iraqi authorities.

“We are also closely coordinating with the Global Coalition,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency