NZ to send non combat troops to Iraq


Wellinghton: New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has announced plans to send 143 non-combat troops to Iraq to help the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants. Key said that most personnel would be based with Australian troops in Taji Camp north of Baghdad.

He said New Zealand had “an obligation to support stability and the rule of law internationally”.

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Authorities said last year that between 35 and 40 New Zealanders were on a terror watch list.

Some of them had travelled to Syria to fight with IS while others were involved in funding extremism or radicalising other people.

Iraq, IS Key said the new mission, likely to begin in May, would help train Iraqi special forces and followed a request from the Iraqi government. The deployment would be reviewed after nine months and would not last longer than two years.