Dutch and Belgian special forces to assist anti-ISIS troops in Iraq

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Dutch military experts training Kurdish Peshmerga special forces in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Erbil – The Netherlands and Belgium will use special forces to advice and assist the Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS in Mosul, the Dutch government said on Saturday. The operations are expected to cost an additional €5 million.

The teams will assist and coordinate with operational planning, leadership, fire power and experiences, according to the Dutch government.

The Dutch and Belgian special forces, however, will not participate in combat actions.

Currently, six coalition countries support the Iraqi and Kurdish forces with Advice and Assist teams, including Canada, Finland, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Dutch Special Forces Operation teams that are in Iraq will back the anti-ISIS forces and will provide sniper training to the Iraqi army.

Furthermore, the Dutch and Belgian governments will expand the intelligence capacity and will appoint an intelligence official for joint planning and liaison.

Also, the Advice and Assist teams (A&A) will conduct their own intelligence collection through the use of unmanned drones to back Iraqi forces. The Dutch Ministry of Defence will use two Raven UAV systems for this.

Starting on 1 December, the Dutch-Belgian special forces teams will coordinate with American and Canadian soldiers to get more experience with the A&A concept.

The Dutch contribution in Iraq focuses on the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Special Operation Forces (SOF) in Baghdad. Moreover, there will be an additional unit in Baghdad to train the Iraqi SOF with 15 persons.

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