Surveillance planes to aid anti-ISIS operations

2016-07-05 08:10


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Brussels - Nato leaders will approve the use of Awacs surveillance aircraft to assist the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State extremist group, the alliance's secretary-general says.

Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday he expected the alliance summit in Warsaw also to agree on a new role for Nato in the central Mediterranean, where the European Union has deployed ships to halt human trafficking.

At a news conference at Nato headquarters, Stoltenberg outlined the ambitious agenda of the two-day summit.

Nato officials have said the Awacs planes would fly in Turkish or international airspace, but be capable of peering electronically into areas of Syria and Iraq now in the hands of Islamic State to help the US-led forces that are fighting the group.

Stoltenberg said Nato leaders this week will also agree to begin training and capacity-building measures for the Iraqi military inside Iraq, expanding an alliance programme that has been training Iraqi officers in Jordan.

Since the alliance's last summit in September 2014 in Wales, Nato has embarked on the biggest reinforcement of its collective defence capabilities since the Cold War, spurred by a resurgent and unfriendly Russia, as well as the spread of Islamic extremism.

Read more on:    isis  |  belgium  |  us

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