Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The German cabinet will vote Wednesday on whether to continue the training of Iraqi and Kurdish troops as part of the fight against Islamic State militants.
German network ARD said the mandate subject to the vote involves the German air force’s participation in the anti-IS campaign but with a reduced number of reconnaissance planes.
Last February, making a visit to Iraq, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyne, said her country’s military was bent on expanding its commitment to Iraq’s assistance to supporting the central government as well as maintaining support for Kurdish troops.
Berlin has been a member of the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi troops against Islamic State extremists since 2014. It has provided more than 1 billion euros in humanitarian, development and stabilization aid to Iraq since then.
In December, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said that sustaining aid to Iraq was contingent on resolving the dispute with Erbil.
Tensions erupted between Baghdad and Erbil in September when Iraqi Kurdistan voted for independence in a popular poll. Baghdad took over territories disputed with the autonomous region and imposed an air blockade.
Berlin parliament voted in December to extend military presence in Iraq until the end of March.