Nato begins counter-IED training support for Iraqi security forces


Nato is conducting training to increase Iraqi security forces' ability to counter emergent threats from ISIS.

Under the new training programme, close to 30 Iraqi soldiers will be trained to counter improvised explosive devices (IED).

Nato allies are supplying protective equipment to Iraqi security forces as part of the five-week course.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Nato's training and capacity building in Iraq is strengthening the country's ability to fight ISIS and provide for its own security.”

The new counter-IED training scheme will be conducted alongside other Nato-run courses in Iraq on civil-military cooperation.

"A more effective Iraqi military means a safer Iraq, and a more stable Middle East."

Since January, Nato advisers have been managing training activities and working with the Iraqi authorities to reform their security institutions, Nato stated.

Iraqi security forces have received training in several areas, including counter-IED activities, explosive ordnance disposal and de-mining in neighbouring Jordan.

Stoltenberg further added: "The best weapon we have in the fight against terrorism is to train local forces.

"A more effective Iraqi military means a safer Iraq, and a more stable Middle East."

In July 2015, Nato agreed to provide assistance to Iraq in explosive disposal, security sector reform, military medicine and civil military planning.

Nato's mobile security sector reform teams have been conducting workshops and attending high-level meetings with Iraqi officials since early 2016.

Phase I of the training was launched in April 2016, during which 350 Iraqi officers in Jordan underwent ‘train-the-trainers’ course.