Netherlands supporting Kurdish, Iraqi forces in anti-ISIS Mosul operation

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Kurdish Peshmerga forces fire locations of ISIS militants in northern Iraq. File photo

ARA News 

THE HAGUE – The Dutch government announced that they will continue to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group until 2017.

Since October 2014, the Dutch government has been a part of the international coalition against ISIS.

“As a result of the efforts of the Iraqi army, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and coalition airstrikes, ISIS lost a lot of terrain in Iraq and Syria,” the government said.

“The training by the coalition to Iraqi and Kurdish units proved of great value, but the battle is not over yet, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, minister Koenders, and Defence Minister Hennis, and Minister Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development, concluded,” the Dutch government said.

As a result, the Dutch government will continue to support the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces. “The Iraqi forces, and Peshmerga in the coming period with support of the international coalition will focus on the liberation of Mosul, the biggest city under control of ISIS,” it said in a statement on Friday.

“Also, the Dutch army will provide force protection for Belgian F-16s that participate in the air campaign.”

The US anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk on Friday welcomed the announcement. “We welcome today’s announcement by the [coalition] key partner the Netherlands to extend their training mission in Iraq through the end of 2017,” McGurk said.

“More Iraqi security personnel are being trained by our coalition this week (6,500) than at any time in the campaign,” he said, adding that 30k Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been trained by the coalition so far. 

“Iraqi Security Forces have not lost a single engagement against ISIL [ISIS] in the past 12 months. Momentum now building for Mosul,” he stated.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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