ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Germany’s defense minister on Wednesday said that there was no need to change the country’s policy in Iraq, after the German parliament approved a government motion to extend its military mission in Iraq for an additional year.
“I believe there would be no need to change our policy in Iraq, but the decision to extend our forces’ mandate allows us to increase the number of our troops,” Boris Pistorius, Federal Minister of Defense of Germany, told Rudaw’s Alla Shally, adding that, for the meantime, the number of German troops in Iraq will remain the same but that could change depending on the circumstances of the country.
Pistorius stated that the German forces were staying in Iraq at Baghdad’s request, stressing that even if the security situation in Iraq has improved, there is room to further enhance stability through joint cooperation.
The minister revealed that he was set to visit Iraq later this year, but recent events prevented that from happening, noting that he still plans to visit early next year.
Germany has been an essential member of the global coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Coalition was formally established in October 2014, after ISIS took control of vast swathes of territories in Iraq and Syria. Consisting of 84 nations, the US-led Coalition’s mission has been “degrading and ensuring Daesh’s enduring defeat,” it says on its website, using Arabic acronym for the extremist group.
Weapons provided by Germany, especially the guided anti-tank MILAN missiles, were essential in Peshmerga forces’ fight against the terror group.