Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has endorsed moves by New Zealand
and Poland to prolong and enhance their participation in the US-led
military campaign to counter Daesh (ISIS/Islamic State) in the Middle
East, saying these decisions will contribute to the lasting defeat of
the violent extremists.
thanked both nations for their commitment in the anti-Daesh
struggle in a statement on Monday,
mentioning that he had met with defense ministers from both
countries a week prior to discuss the importance of global
cooperation in the anti-terror fight.
the same Monday, New Zealand announced that
it would prolong its deployment of 143 servicemen to Iraq,
as part of the joint New Zealand-Australia effort to train
Iraqi soldiers to battle Daesh. The country’s military
contingent was expected to be returned home, but now is
projected to remain in Iraq until November 2018.
to Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand troops will be stationed
at Camp Taji, 17 miles north of Baghdad, training Iraqis
at the Besmaya camp south of Baghdad. He said that the
troops will be secure as they will be working behind barbed
New Zealand-Australia mission claims to have trained over 7,000
Iraqi troops since 2015.
New Zealand pledged to send up to 40 servicemen to take
part in US-led coalition missions, and deploy a C-130 Hercules
to Iraq. Wellington has vowed to allocate $1 million
in stabilizing funding to Baghdad.
for its part, agreed
to boost its presence in the
Middle East, sending 60 trainers and advisers to Iraq and four
F-16s to Kuwait for reconnaissance missions over Iraq
and Syria. Polish national Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said
Monday the jets will be accompanied by support group of 150
the resources dedicated to the fight allows us to further
accelerate the campaign,” Carter said in praising the decision
by the Polish government.
all are as supportive as Carter to Warsaw’s
announcement. The country’s ex-Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna
said that the step could make
the country a target for terrorists in the
run-up to the NATO summit in July.
decision] is the worst possible, because it is made ahead of the
NATO summit and World Youth Day, large-scale events attracting many
people from the outside. It also attracts the attention
of terrorist groups, as the security services admit,"
he said, quoted by RMF.
US-led coalition consists of over 60 nations and has been
launching airstrikes on Daesh positions since 2014.