Norway increases support to fight against ISIL

- The advance of ISIL affects Norway's security, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The Government has therefore decided to make a new military contribution to the international coalition’s operation against ISIL.

 

The contingent of around 60 soldiers will provide training, advice and operational support to local Syrian groups that are fighting against ISIL. Norway’s contribution will include personnel from the Norwegian special forces. The Norwegian troops will be based in Jordan.  

‘The coalition has asked for this type of assistance, and our contribution is greatly valued. The fighting itself will be done by others, but we can help by enhancing their combat capabilities,’ said Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.

This operation is such that the Norwegian forces would have a mandate to train, advise and provide operational support from Syrian territory if the concept of operations calls for this. If the concept of operations is expanded and the situation requires the provision of training and support on Syrian territory, the Government will ask the Storting to consider this as a separate matter.

There is broad international agreement on the need to fight ISIL. More than 65 countries and organisations have joined the international coalition against ISIL, including Western countries and countries in the region.

UN Security Council resolution 2249 called on all UN member states to consider the possibility of strengthening their efforts in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. This resolution treats Iraq and Syria as one area when it comes to the extent of ISIL’s presence and efforts to fight ISIL. On behalf of the coalition, the US and France have requested that Norway steps up its military and civilian efforts.

Norway has also stepped up its civilian efforts in the region.

‘In 2016 Norway will provide a total of NOK 200 million for stabilisation measures in Iraq and Syria. It is important to help stabilise vulnerable areas in Iraq and Syria, both in order to assist the civilian population in areas where ISIL has been pushed back, and in order to prevent other extremist groups from gaining a foothold,’ says Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

In Syria there will also be a need for landmine detection, mapping and clearance, once areas are liberated from ISIL. This year, Norway is willing to contribute up to NOK 50 million for this purpose, in addition to its support for stabilisation measures. Norway will provide NOK 10 billion over the next four years. This is Norway’s  largest ever humanitarian contribution.

(NRK/Press release)

 

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