Kiwi Troops Return Home After Training Over 7,000 Iraqi Forces


After training the Iraqi forces for six months, more than 100 New Zealand Defense Force soldiers returned home on Thursday night, Radio New Zealand reported on Friday.

The force based in Camp Taji, just outside Baghdad, was the fourth batch of New Zealand soldiers who were sent to Iraq.

As part of international efforts in the battle against Islamic State, New Zealand troops (Task Group Taji) jointly with Australian forces train the Iraqi security forces.

"The Iraqi forces are better prepared, more likely to succeed and have a greater chance of surviving because of the training we have helped deliver," RNZ cited an unidentified senior official from the New Zealand force.

RNZ's report also cited Chief of Army, Major General Peter Kelly, as saying the Iraqi troops who are trained by the New Zealanders fight at the frontlines in Mosul.

"Explosive devices, snipers... it's one of the nastiest forms of urban conflict you can imagine, and the soldiers that we have been training have been trained to win that fight," Kelly was quoted as saying.

New Zealand government in 2016 announced it was extending the military mission in Iraq by 18 months, until November 2018 which will equal seven deployments in total.

New Zealand Chief of Army said the new rotation of troops arrived in Iraq about a week ago.


https://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/iraq/354754