MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has begun training Iraqi soldiers to neutralize Daesh's improvised explosive devices (IED), the Alliance said in a statement on Sunday.
''NATO's training and capacity building in Iraq is strengthening the country's ability to fight ISIL [Daesh] and provide for its own security… a more effective Iraqi military means a safer Iraq, and a more stable Middle East," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was quoted as saying in the statement.
The organization's secretary general stressed that local forces were the "best weapon we have in the fight against terrorism."
In March 2016, NATO launched an initiative to train the Iraqi army in nearby Jordan, assisting in training the forces in key areas, such as dealing with IEDs, field military medicine and civil military planning.
The allies agreed to the expanded training to Iraq during the Warsaw Summit in July 2016.
Since January, NATO has been running courses on civil and military cooperation in Iraq, while the Alliance's advisers have been working with local authorities to reform security institutions.
The Iraqi city of Mosul was taken over by Daesh jihadists, outlawed in many countries, including Russia, in 2014. The operation to liberate the city, launched in October 2016, has cleared the eastern part of the country's former second largest city, while the western districts of Mosul are still under the terrorists' control.