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    US. army soldiers stand next a military vehicle in the town of Bartella, east of Mosul, Iraq, December 27, 2016

    NATO's Main Focus in Iraq to Build Capacity, to Train Iraqi Forces

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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO's main focus in Iraq is to build capacity to train Iraqi forces.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — NATO's main focus in Iraq is to build capacity to train Iraqi forces, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

    "The purpose of the military operations in Iraq has always been to defeat ISIS, Daesh [Islamic State terrorist group, banned in Russia], and also to liberate Mosul as part of that. But the main focus of NATO is not on the high-end combat operations which are taking place for instance in Mosul," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    "The main focus of NATO has been to build capacity, to train Iraqi forces, so when Daesh is defeated, when Mosul is liberated, then we need capable Iraqi forces which can keep Daesh down and can create conditions for stability and peaceful development in Iraq," he said.

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