The New Zealand Government has extended additional support for the next phase of the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (D-ISIS).
The move was announced by New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare in a statement.
It comes just days after the US military carried out precision airstrikes against Iran-backed militants in Syria.
The contribution includes a one-year extension of the previous deployment of the New Zealand military’s two Coalition Headquarters personnel in Iraq and Kuwait.
The New Zealand Government first deployed its personnel under the Defeat-ISIS Coalition in 2015. Later in 2020, it was extended until June 2022.
Henare said: “In line with the Coalition’s reconfiguration, New Zealand will continue the deployment of two New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel to [the] Coalition until 30 June 2023, after which we intend to withdraw our military contribution while expanding our support to non‑military workstreams.
“This package of support reaffirms our shared commitment and determination to continue [to] fight against violent extremism and address the longer-term security and humanitarian challenges faced by the Government and people of Iraq.”
Apart from the deployment extension, the New Zealand Government has contributed an additional $2.4m (NZ$4m) for the Coalition’s stabilisation programme.
It will support the 84-member nation Coalition’s efforts to stabilise Iraq for a duration of three years.
Mahuta said: “Our support builds on the $24.21m (NZ$39m) in international development co-operation funding to Iraq since 2002, which has focused on humanitarian support and stabilisation measures to respond to violent extremism.
“Since the establishment of the Coalition in 2014, contributions from the New Zealand Aid Programme have focused on stabilisation efforts, removal of explosive remnants of war, and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq.”