13 February 2020
NATO defence ministers agreed on Wednesday to expand the Western alliance's training mission in Iraq, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, responding to a demand by U.S. President Donald Trump for NATO to do more in the Middle East. NATO will take over some of the training activities carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, Stoltenberg said.
The military alliance and the coalition have non-combat, "train-and-advise" missions that aim to develop Iraqi security forces, but both are suspended over fears for regional stability after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad on January 3. After the killing, Trump called on NATO - founded in 1949 to contain a military threat from the Soviet Union - to do more in the Middle East, without specifying what that might entail.
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