Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Spain is to send 300 troops to Iraq help train the Iraqi military as part of the ongoing operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, it was confirmed by Spain’s Minister of Defense Pedro Morenes.
Morenes gave the information during the press conference held after Friday’s Cabinet meeting in which the measure was approved.
He said that the mission would see the Spanish work alongside Italian forces in the training of an Iraqi brigade “from individual to company battalion level,” and that the training would last for between “seven and eight weeks.”
The Spanish would give training in deactivating explosive artifacts, clearing mines and in carrying out special operations.
“It is not just about containing the advance of the Jihad of the Islamic State, but also to give Iraq a state structure which is strong enough to allow Iraqi unity and to assure the prosperity and security of their citizens,” said the Minister.
Morenes explained the training would be given in Iraq, where “immediate protection” had been established and insisted Spanish forces would not be entering in combat against the ISIL.
“We exclude direct combat as an operative element,” he said, explaining that Spain’s contribution to the operation against the ISIL could still see some “variations.”
Spain will also increase the capacity of several military air bases in order to “support the needs of American High Command”. /End/