The Government has decided that Norway will offer to provide military personnel to assist in training Iraqi forces. The proposed contribution is around 120 military personnel for one year, with the possibility of an extension.
ISIL is continuing to gain ground in Iraq and Syria. The group poses a grave threat to security and stability throughout the region, and it is having an impact on the global threat picture.
‘Iraq has asked the international community for help in fighting ISIL. The UN has directed several appeals for such contributions. It takes a broad alliance in the fight against ISIL. Both Arab and Western countries have responded positively to Iraq's request. Something has to be done, and Norway is now offering to make a significant contribution,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Training and capacity building
Norway is therefore offering to provide around 120 military personnel to assist in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces.
‘Our proposal is to deploy personnel to a training centre in Erbil, and to the Baghdad area, where they will provide guidance and support for an Iraqi security force. In both cases, we will cooperate closely with other contributing allies. Our aim is to enhance Iraq’s ability to safeguard its own security,’ said Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Norway has valuable experience in capacity building for military units of this kind.
‘Norwegian forces have earned respect for the work they have done – and are continuing to do – in Afghanistan. The experience gained from this work will be highly relevant in the fight against ISIL,’ said Ms Søreide.
Wide range of measures
A wide range of measures need to be used in the fight against ISIL.
‘In addition to the military efforts, we need to limit the opportunities ISIL has to fund its activities, prevent recruitment to the group, and work to reduce its ideological appeal. Moreover, humanitarian efforts are vital in helping ISIL’s victims and supporting countries and communities that are receiving large numbers of displaced people,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Planning still under way
Norway will now present its proposed contribution to the international coalition against ISIL. It has not yet been decided when Norwegian personnel can be deployed to the area. A number of matters need to be clarified first. The coalition is still carrying out the necessary planning processes. Norway will also carry out its own assessment of the security situation before deploying forces to the region.
The cost of Norway’s proposed contribution is estimated to be around NOK 210 million.