Iraqi Government has asked for New Zealand’s help to fight the Islamic State by describing the battle as World War III

February 13, 2015 10:26 am

 The battle against is being described as a global war because it has spread beyond Iraq’s borders.The Iraqi Government has asked for ’s help to fight the
Islamic State by describing the battle as because it is
affecting citizens in all countries.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister
Ibrahim al-Ja’afari did not specifically invite New Zealand to train
Iraqi troops in a meeting with Foreign Minister Murray McCully in
Auckland today, but issued a general invitation to the international
community for support.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray
McCully said Dr al-Ja’afari made it clear that Iraq was looking for
assistance in the form of training, logistics, reconstruction and
capacity-building.
“They are looking for support and assistance
from countries, not only those that are inside the formal coalition,
which we are, but also some countries outside it,” he said.
In a
press conference, Dr al-Ja’afari described the battle against Isis as a
global war because it had spread beyond Iraq’s borders.

 The battle against Isis is being described as a global war because it has spread beyond Iraq’s borders. Photo / AP

“The goals of IS are globalised, they target markets,
hospitals, schools, mosques, churches in every country,” he said, using a
translator.
New Zealand has still not officially confirmed a
deployment to Iraq, but it already has troops training for any
deployment and a team of military in Iraq scoping out what role New
Zealand could play and assessing factors such as safety. Prime Minister
John Key has repeatedly said Government would not commit to any combat
role.
Dr al-Ja’afari said if New Zealand sent troops to the
region for training purposes, the Iraqi Army would provide protection
for them.
This appeared to contradict the New Zealand
Government’s plans for the New Zealand Defence Force to provide
protection. Mr McCully insisted yesterday that this would still be the
case.
Dr al-Ja’afari also conceded that there was a level of
corruption within the Iraqi armed forces, “but this does not mean that
there aren’t courageous Iraqi soldiers and officers to fight and
sacrifice themselves”.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister also met with
Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little and shadow foreign affairs
minister David Shearer today.
Mr Shearer said that apart from a
request for air cover – which New Zealand could not provide – the
minister did not put pressure on New Zealand to contribute military
assistance.
The pressure to make a military commitment appeared to be coming from “the club” – USA, Canada, and Australia – and not Iraq.
Mr
Shearer said he was still not convinced that New Zealand providing
military trainers would make any difference, and he was concerned about
the potential for “mission creep”.
“It’s certainly going to put a
number of people in harm’s way. The Canadians, who went in there only
to train, have been involved in firefights already. So inevitably we
will be pulled into a bigger conflict if we are there.”

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