Aust, NZ to train Iraqis to expel ISIS

ISIS flag. The text reads: 'There is no god but Allah; Mohammed is his messenger'.

ISIS flag. The text reads: ‘There is no god but Allah; Mohammed is his messenger’.

Canberra, AAP – Australian and New Zealand troops are needed to help train Iraqi soldiers trying to oust Islamic State forces out of their country, a defence analyst says.

Retired Major General Jim Molan said Iraqi forces aided by coalition air power had halted the IS advance.

But at some stage, a counter-offensive had to start and Iraq needed to generate a force big enough to push IS out of Iraq.

Major General Molan, chief of coalition operations in Iraq in 2004-05, said an Iraqi force of up to 10 brigades – a total of 25,000 troops – would be needed and they would need to be trained.

‘What Australia can do is conduct this training with the Kiwis in the same location and feed those troops into the brigades,’ he told Sky News.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will announce the fresh deployment on Tuesday morning, a week after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced they would dispatch 143 soldiers to a joint 400-member training mission with Australia.

They would be based at Taji, about 30km north of Baghdad, to instruct Iraqi troops in basic weapons skills and individual and unit skills to prepare Iraqi security forces for combat.

The training would also include planning of operations and medical and logistics support.

Australia’s part in this mission was to be given the go-ahead at the cabinet meeting on Monday night and announced after the joint parties meeting on Tuesday morning.

Major General Molan said it was likely Australia’s contribution to the coalition air campaign against IS would continue.

But the deployment of 200 Australian special forces, who have been advising Iraqi special forces, might no longer be needed.

‘I would suggest the time for the special forces has passed,’ he said.

One response to “Aust, NZ to train Iraqis to expel ISIS”

  1. Roger Graf says:

    It makes you wonder why we have deployed military personnel to fight “The War on Terror” since 2003 and were asked to remove our troops from Iraq in 2013 with a mission to defeat the “WOMD” in Iraq as a coalition partner, being advised by an Australian analyst that there were no WOMD prior to our invasion.

    Since the invasion, everything has gone ‘pear-shaped’ politically in Iraq, especially the destabilisation of the major religious cults.

    So again our government has learnt nothing from the unpredictability of the Iraqi government and will not commit ‘to boots on the ground’ with any coalition member due to this being unpopular, although with a large force willing to die, we could defeat ISIS in Mosul. It would be a tall order as ‘street fighting’ in a city equal in size to Brisbane is not an easy mission to succeed.

    When will we learn that to deploy added troops costs money and, worse still, what is the date of return of our troops… another 10 years?

    I would suggest that we shore up our own continent against a terror attack and allow for the secular fighting to work out their boundaries.

    It certainly shows that during our time in the Islamic state, we have achieved nothing except hatred.

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