Pinotti: Iraq will be Italy’s most significant commitment 41105162

Defence & Security News - Italy
Pinotti: Iraq will be Italy’s most significant commitment
“Iraq will be Italy’s most significant commitment at a global level” according to the Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti who paid an official visit to Iraq. The minister visited Baghdad, Erbil, the Mosul dam area and the Italian force deployed there. She reminded that Italy is the second largest contributing nation with 800 troops stationed in Baghdad and Erbil  training local forces in the war against the Islamic State.
Pinotti Iraq will be Italy’s most significant commitment
The Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti congratulating the Italian troops operating in Iraq for their work in the war against the Islamic State. (Photo: Italian MoD)

Italy had recently decided to deploy four NHIndustries NH90 tactical transport helicopters and four AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta attack helicopters in Erbil, to provide combat search and rescue support to the allied air assets operating above Iraq and Syria.

At the Mosul Dam, which is one of the most important infrastructures for the whole of the country, Roberta Pinotti mentioned that from the end of May until September 2016, the Italian Army would deploy 500 more soldiers, bringing the total force to 1,300 troops.

Their mission will be to protect the Italian contractor engineers, whose work is to enhance its structure, preventing its collapse. The Italian government signed a USD296 million contract in February 2016 with Trevi Group in order to implement the necessary structural support at the dam.

The project is of high importance considering a US government briefing paper according to which a possible collapse of the dam would result in floods across the Tigris river areas, which could lead to 500,000 to 1.5 million people being affected or losing their lives.

The minister was also accompanied by the Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Gen. Claudio Graziano. They met with Iraqi and Kurdish political, military and police officials. At Camp Dublin they talked to the Carabinieri and Army personnel and congratulated them for their contribution.



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