Iraq still needs US-led coalition support to fight the Islamic State
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Iraq stills needs the training, advice, and support of the US-led Coalition and Germany to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) group in the country, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said in a press conference with his German counterpart in Berlin on Monday, days after Washington announced it will pull more than 2,000 troops out of Iraq.
“Iraq still needs the coalition and Germany military advisors and training to fight ISIS in Iraq,” Hussein said. “Baghdad still needs to confront the ISIS threat. ISIS is not defeated completely yet.”
ISIS is not only a threat to the people of Iraq, but the entire “global security,” he said.
The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, pledged Germany’s continued support for Baghdad.
“Germany is keen on continuing the military support for Iraq, as we always aim to maintain the security in Iraq,” Maas said. “Germany will continue its mission in Iraq, as there are still fights against ISIS in some areas in Iraq.”
Baghdad called on the international community to form a coalition to help fight ISIS after the group swept across the north of the country in 2014. Germany is a core member of the US-led alliance and a NATO training mission in Iraq.
Although Iraq announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in December 2017, remnants of the group have returned to their earlier insurgency tactics, ambushing security forces, kidnapping and executing suspected informants, and extorting money from vulnerable rural populations.
The German government announced in September 2019 that it would extend its mission with the Coalition until October 2020, but would reduce its total number of troops across the Middle East from 800 to 700.
This year, the Coalition has scaled back its footprint in Iraq, handing over bases and equipment to Iraqi forces. Last week, the United States announced it would reduce the number of American troops in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000, citing progress the national forces have made in improving their capabilities.
US troops are also under pressure to withdraw after killing a top Iranian general and senior Iraqi militia commander in a drone strike in Baghdad in January, as tensions between Washington and Tehran soared. Bases housing American troops have come under rocket attack and the parliament drafted a non-binding motion to evict the Americans.
Maas advised Baghdad should avoid taking sides between its close neighbour Iran and ally America.
Berlin has also supported Iraq and the Kurdistan Region through non-military means. Germany officially handed over the Peshmerga hospital in Erbil to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in April. The facility will treat members of the Kurdistan Region’s security forces wounded in the ISIS war.
In 2018, Germany invested 90 million euros in water sanitation, sewage, and construction to stabilize Iraq following the defeat of ISIS.