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Germany to extend military mission in northern Iraq

German Government spokesman Steffen Seibert

The German government announced Wednesday that its military training mission in northern Iraq would be extended by another year amid the continuing threat posed by Daesh.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference in Berlin that cabinet members decided on Wednesday to continue the German military’s training mission for Kurdish Peshmerga militia and Iraqi forces fighting the terror group in provinces bordering Syria.

“The mandate will be extended until 31 January 2018, and the ceiling on troops will remain at 150,” he said.

Seibert said the mission had proved successful over the last two years in enhancing the capabilities of forces fighting Daesh, also known as ISIL.

Germany has been an active partner of the international coalition against Daesh since 2015, and has deployed nearly 150 troops in the northern Iraq city of Erbil, to train local forces there.

Seibert noted that following Wednesday’s cabinet decision, the government would seek parliamentary authorization for the mandate.

This approval is almost certain as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners enjoy an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

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