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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg listens to questions from journalists during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.

    NATO to Have Presence in Iraq for In-Country Training in Jan. 2017

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    Middle East
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    NATO is preparing to have a presence in Iraq by to conduct an in-country training for the Middle Eastern nation starting from January 2017, NATO's press service said in a statement Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari visited the NATO headquarters and held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

    "The Secretary General commended the success of Iraqi security forces in reclaiming key territories from ISIL [Islamic State, or Daesh]. He reiterated NATO’s commitment to provide in-country training and capacity building for Iraq, as requested by Iraqi Prime Minister [Haider] al-Abadi and as agreed by Allies at the Warsaw Summit. Allies are now planning for a NATO presence in Iraq, which could conduct in-country training, beginning in January 2017 and which would build on the Alliance’s existing training in Jordan," the statement said.

    According to the statement, Stoltenberg said about the importance of the Mosul operation against the Daesh jihadists, and added that NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft will soon join the US-led coalition to counter Daesh in Iraq.

    On Monday, Abadi announced the start of the military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh militants. According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation, backed by air strikes carried out by the US-led international coalition.

    Mosul, the second biggest Iraqi city, is the main stronghold of Daesh in Iraq. The city was seized by Daesh, a jihadist group outlawed in many countries, in 2014 along with a number of other northern and western Iraqi cities and towns.


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