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Germany: change in military assistance to Iraq.

| 2018

The Islamic State has lost control on its territories in Iraq (as well as in Syria). So, German Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 12 that her country will switch military support to Iraqi armed forces in fighting against Islamic State by focusing on advice, training, logistics and medical assistance.

Germany change in military assistance to Iraq
German troops training Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq (Picture source: Bundeswehr)

This change of assistance is the reply to the request of the Iraqi government, said von der Leyen during her trip in Iraq. The IS (Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria having been militarily defeated, the Iraqi armed forces have to reorganize and therefore need advice, training, logistics and medical assistance. "Everyone knows that the IS has beaten, but not completely defeated," said von der Leyen. There are still "pockets" of terrorist militia in the country. This means scattered resistance nests of the IS.

Germany is a long supporter of the war against “Daesh”: since the beginning of the war against IS in 2014, Germany has provided around 1 billion euros for development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

As Xinhua reports, the focus of German involvement in Iraq is the training and counseling of the Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in the Erbil area as well as the supply of military equipment. Currently, up to 150 German soldiers are stationed to train Kurdish soldiers near Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region (which irritates Turkey). Germany's Tornado fighter-bomber jets make reconnaissance flights over Syria and Iraq from Jordan, like other NATO allies do.

The mandates assigned by the German Federal Parliament to the German armed forces for the fight against IS in Syria and Iraq are only a few weeks away. In their coalition agreement reached last week, the Conservatives Union and the Social Democrats will focus on capacity building in the future, including the increased training and advice of security forces in Iraq, and the Bundeswehr (German army) wants to continue to make a contribution to the stabilization of Iraq.



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