Germany considers military training center in Erbil

Berlin sends military experts to Erbil to explore ways of better supporting peshmerga troops against ISIL

Germany considers military training center in Erbil

World Bulletin/News Desk

Germany is considering expanding its military support for Iraqi Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and has sent a team of military experts to Erbil in northern Iraq for discussions, Defense Ministry sources have confirmed.

German Armed Forces sources told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that a German delegation, consisting of three Defense Ministry officials and a Foreign Ministry diplomat, would be visiting Erbil for talks with Iraqi Kurdish regional government officials on how to provide better support to peshmerga troops.

A forces spokesperson said: "For the time being we are considering opening a military training center in northern Iraq and providing military technical assistance, but nothing has been decided yet."

The German government began supplying military supplies, including arms and ammunition, in September to Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga troops combating ISIL militants, but Berlin ruled out sending troops to the region to fight.

The official added: "There are talks on the possibility of opening a military training center and also further military technical assistance like sending mine-clearing equipment or medical help."

"We will have to first wait for the return of our team and the results of their report,” the official said, adding ministers would take the final decision.

Germany's Defense Ministry is considering deploying around 100 soldiers in northern Iraq for the possible mission, German media earlier reported. 

Foreign policy push 

Germany has been traditionally hesitant in taking part in international military operations mainly because of its Nazi past.

Public opinion in the country has been largely against Germany taking any military role in international conflicts.

A recent public poll by Germany’s public television ARD showed that 58 percent of Germans were against the Merkel government’s decision to supply weapons to Iraqi Kurds, while 38 percent expressed support for it.

In recent months German government officials have been advocating a more active foreign policy, supported by military measures, stressing Germany's responsibility for international peace and stability.  

Germany is currently providing military arms to Iraqi Kurds to support them in their fight against ISIL.

German military aid consists of arms for more than 4,000 peshmerga troops, including 4,000 G3 rifles, one million rounds of ammunition, 30 Milan anti-tank systems and 500 anti-tank missiles.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ekim 2014, 17:44