German defense minister in Baghdad for talks: agency

German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen

Baghdad ( Germany’s defense minister ursula Von der Leyen arrived on Friday in Baghdad to discuss with Iraqi officials the battle against Islamic State militants, according to DPA news agency.

Der Leyen is scheduled to meet Saturday with Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Germany has been a member of the United States-led coalition to fight Islamic State militants.

The mandate for German troops fighting IS in Iraq and Syria is expected to expire in a few weeks.

Currently, there are 150 German troopers stationed near Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil for the purpose of training of Kurdish troops.

Iraqi declared victory over Islamic State militants in December, ending a three-year campaign backed by the international coalition to eliminate the militants’ self-styled “caliphate”.

But the group still poses a security challenge with occasional attacks against civilians and security members.




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