Warsaw, Poland NATO decided on Saturday that it will move its mission training Iraqi ground forces—now being done in Jordan—to facilities inside Iraq, no later than November. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters the mission was moving to become more efficient—it will allow a greater throughput of trained Iraqi officers—and because Iraq is somewhat safer for the trainers. Part of the training involves the removal of tens of thousands of improvised explosive devices, a senior NATO official said in a backgrounder for the press. “We want people to be able to come back” to their homes after ISIS forces are ousted from the territories they’ve held, he said, but “they’ve booby-trapped everything. You open a refrigerator, it explodes,” and booby traps have been found in bodies, toys, “everything.” Iraq needs the capacity to take this mission on, he said.
May 5, 2021