The Ministry of Defence (FD) reported on Monday that Norway has offered ten soldiers to NATO’s new training mission in Iraq.
The Norwegian contribution is scheduled for 2019.
In April, NATO’s Foreign Ministers agreed the concept of a new training mission in Iraq. The goal is to help Iraqi authorities stabilise the country and ensure that the extremist group IS does not get back a foothold.NATO soldiers will train Iraqi instructors and assist in the construction of Iraqi military schools.
The prerequisite for the Norwegian force contribution is the consent of Iraq and that NATO’s final concept takes the necessary strength protection and support, the FD said.
The ministry also announced on Monday that the Norwegian contribution to the US-led coalition fighting against IS is reduced from approximately 110 to 60 soldiers. The Norwegian force is located in the Anbar province of Iraq.The strength will be reduced because the Norwegian special soldiers will be withdrawn in 2018. The 60 who remain in Anbar in 2019 are soldiers from Hæren.
In Afghanistan, Norway is contributing to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission operation from approximately 60 people today to 70 in 2019.The increase consists of people in sanitation and capacity building.
The contribution to NATO’s “strike thread against Russia” in the east is reduced to only 15 people, from approximately 50 today. It has already been reduced significantly. However, from the second half of 2019 and until 2022, the figure will resume to about 120 people. The Norwegian forces are stationed in Lithuania.
The reason for reducing the contribution to NATO’s eastern flank is that in 2019, Norway will provide a larger number of personnel available to the NATO Response Force (NRF), the FD stated.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today