Wellington, June 9 (IANS) The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) said on Thursday that along with Australian forces, it will soon have trained 7,000 Iraqi troops in the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.
The joint Building Partner Capacity Mission, based at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, helped the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) build the combat power necessary to sustain operations against IS, Major General Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said in a statement.
“It has been encouraging to see that our training efforts are paying off. Early this year, some of the Iraqi soldiers we trained were involved in the successful counter-offensive operation in Ramadi,” Xinhua news agency quoted Gall as saying.
“The soldiers will pass on their skills when they return to their units and lead their men in the battle against IS,” Captain Mahmood Mohammed, Iraqi Army Junior Leaders School said.
The trainees practiced fighting in squads and are trained in urban warfare, as well as learning fire control to maintain a disciplined approach as they fight.
Around 100 NZDF personnel and 300 Australian Defence Force troops are involved in the mission at Camp Taji.