Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting Swedish forces in Iraq in 2016.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting Swedish forces in Iraq in 2016. Credit: Swedish Government offices

Government seeks to keep military advisors in Iraq

1:51 min

Sweden's government signaled on Thursday that it would ask parliament to continue the nation's military training mission in Iraq.

Swedish troops have been in Iraq since August 2015 working with 60-plus nations in the fight against the terrorist organization the Islamic State, or IS. Sweden's mission involves training Kurdish Peshmega soldiers on how to deal with possible chemical or biological weapon attacks.

After the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa, in Syria, fell this week and tensions rose between Iraq's central government and semi-autonomous Kurdistan, the future of the Swedish mission seemed to be in question.

But Annika Söder, Sweden's cabinet secretary for foreign affairs, told news agency TT that the government would ask parliament to keep the some 70 Swedish advisors on the ground.

The decision has been welcomed by members of the four-party opposition coalition, the Alliance. Radio Sweden spoke to Karin Enström, a member of parliament for the opposition Moderate Party and a former defence minister, about why.

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