Dutch military experts training Kurdish Peshmerga special forces in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: ARA News
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ERBIL – The Dutch government will send a Mobile Support Team (MST) to help small groups of the Kurdish Peshmergas in their war on the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group in northern Iraq, the Dutch Defense Ministry revealed on Wednesday.
The Dutch government will send 25 extra Dutch soldiers to train the Kurds at the end of this week. The soldiers will be deployed close to the frontline, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told the Dutch parliament on Wednesday.
“I want to emphasize that the trainers of the Mobile Support Team will not be deployed as forward air controllers,” Defense Minister Hennis-Plasschaert told the Dutch parliament. “The MST will also not be deployed at the front-lines,” she added.
The MST teams will focus on training Peshmerga forces for specific operations against the ISIS radical group not very far from the frontline, but will not be involved in combat. According to Dutch officials, the Kurds had requested such a mobile team.
Speaking to ARA News, a Peshmerga officer said that they welcome the decision of the Dutch government, and thanked them for their support.
In Erbil, around 100 Dutch military personnel have been training the Peshmerga forces since February.
Moreover, several units of the Iraqi special forces have received training by the Dutch commandos near Baghdad. The Dutch government has also deployed four F-16s to bomb ISIS positions.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News