Spain agrees to train Iraqi soldiers to fight against IS

19 October 2014 (Last Updated October 19th, 2014 18:30)

The Spanish Government has agreed to train Iraqi security forces to help them fight Islamic State (IS) militants.

The Spanish Government has agreed to train Iraqi security forces to help them fight Islamic State (IS) militants.

Unnamed Spanish officials were quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying that the country has ruled out any participation in ground operations against the terrorist organisation in Syria.

Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes said: "We could be starting up by the end of this year because the whole operation is evolving fast, all the time, every day. We have to adjust our abilities and what we are offering, in response to that evolution."

The announcement was made following a meeting between Morenes and the US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington, US.

"The US and several other countries are involved in an ongoing aerial campaign against IS fighters."

Hagel was quoted by the International Business Times AU as saying that the two allies will be cooperating in the battle against IS fighters.

Spain has also offered its bases in Moron and Rota to help US aircraft carrying logistics support for operations in northern Iraq, Hagel added.

Morenes, who added that Spain will send 300 soldiers to train Iraqi personnel, said the bases will also be used for transferring equipment and personnel to Ebola-affected populations in West Africa.

The US and its allies, including the UK, are already training Iraqi soldiers to better counter the terrorists, who have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months.

The US and several other countries are involved in an ongoing aerial campaign against IS fighters.

Meanwhile, Australia has signed an agreement with the Iraqi Government to deploy 200 Special Forces personnel to northern Iraq.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said: "I have finalised agreement for a legal framework to enable our special forces to be deployed here to advise and assist the Iraqi Government in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces.

"We have reached agreement for a legal framework and now it will be a matter for our military to determine when our Special Forces will be deployed, so it will be an operational matter from now on."

Australia sent 400 Air Force personnel and F/A-18 Super Hornets to the UAE, as part of its commitment to the US-led coalition against IS, in September.

Defence Technology