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NATO announces defense capacity building program for Iraq

By U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

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Aug. 3, 2015 — BRUSSELS, Aug. 3, 2015 - NATO allies Friday agreed to undertake a program aimed to help strengthen Iraq's security forces.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that the decision "underscores NATO’s commitment to deepening our partnership with Iraq.”

The defense capacity building package, which was developed at Iraq’s request and in close consultation with Iraqi authorities, will provide "support in areas where NATO is best-placed to add value," Stoltenberg said.

The package includes measures of support in seven priority areas: advice on security sector reform; countering improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal and de-mining; civil military planning; cyber defense; military medicine and medical assistance; military training; and civil emergency planning. The training programs will be held in Turkey and Jordan.

“NATO’s support for Iraq has been designed to complement efforts carried out by the Global Coalition against (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the European Union, the United Nations and bilateral efforts by individual allies,” the secretary general said.