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    Spanish Military Operation in Iraq to Start This Year: Defense Minister

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    300 Spanish soldiers supposed to form part of the international coalition to stop the advance of the Islamic State (IS), will be deployed to Iraq by the end of 2014, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - 300 Spanish soldiers supposed to form part of the international coalition to stop the advance of the Islamic State (IS), will be deployed to Iraq by the end of 2014, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes said Wednesday.

    Spain will "bring more experience" to the military training of the Iraqi army, La Vanguardia quoted Morenes as saying.

    Furthermore, Morenes noted that Spain has also allowed the international coalition to use its military bases if needed the fight against the IS.

    The operation is expected to last for six months and cost about 35 million euros (about $44 million), Morenes said in his address to Congress, seeking the congressional authorization necessary to deploy the mission.

    As agreed within the international coalition, Spain will send about 300 soldiers, who will train the Iraqi army to participate in special operations, as well as in mine clearance and bomb disposal.

    The IS is a sectarian Sunni Muslim militia also known at the State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Its rapid advance in northern Iraq triggered a response from Washington, which launched airstrikes against the insurgents fighting on Iraqi soil in August. The military action has been subsequently extended to Syria with an international coalition set up to defeat the extremists.

    Tags:
    Iraq, military operation, coalition, Spain
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