The Iraq security forces have nearly 5,000 more members to assist as hold forces in Eastern Mosul and eventually in the fight against ISIS in Western Mosul following recent graduation ceremonies at Taji, Besmaya, Erbil, and Al Asad Airbase, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition said on Friday.
At Taji and Besmaya, nearly 2,000 Nineveh policemen were trained by Australian and New Zealand soldiers and are poised to assist in the fight against ISIS in Mosul.
“Task Group Taji IV is proud to see them develop into an effective security force, ready to take the fight to ISIS,” said Australian Col. Richard Vagg, commander TG Taji IV.
“The police trainees are determined to defend their country against ISIS,” said Col. Vagg. “They’re young and determined – many of them come from Mosul where they’ve lost family members to ISIS’s campaign of terror.”
Over the past month, the Coalition provided infantry-based tactics, techniques and procedures to men who will play a major role in defending, holding and stabilizing areas liberated from Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.
In Besmaya, Spanish Coalition members led Nineveh police forces’ training.
In addition, 3,000 Iraqi security forces graduated from patrol and clearing techniques training at Al Asad Airbase led by the efforts of Danish, British, Latvian, Estonian and American forces.
The government of Iraq, supported by the US-led multi-national coalition, launched the Mosul offensive in Oct. 2016 to liberate Iraq’s second-largest city which was taken by ISIS in June 2014.
After three months of intense fighting, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Eastern Mosul on Jan. 24. It’s expected that the Iraqi security forces will soon launch a second phase of their operation.
“Hold forces such as the Nineveh police will be essential to provide immediate support and security, enabling the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] to focus on the western side of the Tigris River,” the US-led coalition said on Friday.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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