Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on NATO to continue to train the Iraqi forces, a statement from Abad’s office said on Tuesday.
It added al-Abadi held a telephone conversation with NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, where the two sides discussed the prospects of continuing cooperation to train the Iraqi forces.
According to the statement, “the call discussed the acceleration and intensification of Iraqi forces’ training, as well as developing the military training curriculum to include infantry and intelligence units”.
The organization had recently declared the role of its forces would change in Iraq after the declaration of Iraq’s victory over ISIS terrorists.
A U.S.-led alliance has backed Iraqi forces in their operations against ISIS terrorists since the group emerged in 2014 and until the declaration of its defeat in 2017.
According to NATO’s website, in November and December 2017, a mobile training team led by Slovakia conducted a training course in manual demining for Iraqi Security Forces. This was held in Iraq in the framework of NATO's training and capacity building activities in support of Iraqi security forces and institutions. It was developed and implemented in coordination with the NATO Core Team in Baghdad.
Twenty-one students from the Ministry of Defense attended the course. Upon completion seventeen of them were certified as instructors; four were awarded with certificates of basic demining.
“Most of the students were experienced explosive ordnance disposal personnel and were really eager to learn new techniques,” the Commander of the Slovak Training Team, 2ndLieutenant Lukáš Cabovsky, said.
Following the liberation of Iraq from Da’esh/ISIS, more clearance of explosives is required. Civilians are often the victims, as Da’esh/ISIS are reported to have planted bombs and other explosive devices in heavily populated areas, as well as in schools and parks. To deal with this, NATO is helping to build a sustainable Iraqi demining capacity by conducting a series of training activities for future Iraqi instructors.
“Our contribution is focused exclusively on carrying out training tasks and on providing advice and assistance in support of the Iraqi forces,” 2nd Lieutenant Cabovsky highlighted.
Other training courses and seminars already conducted in the framework of NATO’s training and capacity building activities in support of Iraqi security forces and institutions have focused on countering improvised explosive devices, maintenance of Soviet-era armored vehicles, military medicine, civil-military cooperation, reform of security institutions, and civil emergency planning to deal with natural emergencies.