Mandate for a training mission in Iraq

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The fight against IS Mandate for a training mission in Iraq

Before Christmas the German Bundestag is to decide on the mandate for a larger-scale Bundeswehr training mission in Iraq. The German government plans to deploy about 100 soldiers to the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq.

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German troops instruct Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the use of the G3 rifle at a firing range close to the town of Erbil in northern Iraq.

German troops are already training Peshmerga soldiers

Photo: Bundeswehr/Wilke

The German government agreed on this on Thursday during a Cabinet meeting. According to the Federal Defence Ministry, the government intends to deploy about 100 soldiers in the autonomous region of the Iraqi Kurds. Fact-finding missions in November identified the needs of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish army in northern Iraq.

Following an inter-ministerial agreement, the precise wording of the motion is still to be revised, said a spokesperson. Within the scope of international coordination, substantial and logistical details are also to be clarified in advance.

German Bundestag to be involved in the decision

The motion is to be adopted by the Cabinet next week. Involving the German Bundestag in the decision about the mission is politically expedient and legally advisable, said the spokesperson of the Federal Foreign Office, Martin Schäfer. The decision will be based on the Parliamentary Participation Act. He categorically rejected any change in Germany’s Basic Law or constitution to make possible a mandate for the training mission.

Iraq has requested "comprehensive assistance" in the fight against the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS), he added.

Germany has already supplied the Kurds with weapons for their fight against IS, and the Bundeswehr has trained Peshmerga soldiers in Germany. On a lesser scale instruction in the use of weapons and equipment is also taking place in Iraq.