MADRID, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Spain will send 300 military advisers to Iraq to train the country's soldiers to fight the Islamic state (IS) militants, Spanish Minister of Defense Pedro Morenes said Friday.
The Spanish military mission in Iraq will last seven to eight weeks. The Spanish troops will not participate in military operations. And the government's decision now must pass approval in the parliament.
The minister ruled out "the participation of Spanish soldiers in direct armed clashes." "We're not there for that," Morenes said at a press conference, adding that Spain began this mission, "with all the guarantees of security" for forces deployed in the conflict zone.
Spain previously stated that it would allow its allies to use its military bases in Rota (Cadiz) and Moron de la Frontera (Sevilla), as well as airspace and territorial waters. Madrid is also ready to supply non-lethal weapons and equipment, and is considering lethal weapons deliveries - but only with the consent of the official Baghdad.
In mid-September it was announced that Spain would station a squadron of Patriot surface-to-air (SAM) systems and send 130 servicemen to Turkey.
The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq. In August, the United States authorized limited airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria in September, after US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition.