Hungary to send 150 soldiers to northern Iraq
Iran Press TV
Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:34PM
Hungarian lawmakers have voted to dispatch up to 150 soldiers to help guard a military training center in Iraq's Kurdistan region as part of the so-called US-led military campaign against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
On Tuesday, Hungarian members of parliament voted 137 to 57, authorizing the contingent's mission until December 2017.
Most of no votes came from opposition Socialists and the far-right Jobbik party.
"The ISIL is a threat to the world, and has to be taken seriously," Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told journalists after the vote.
Although an official date for the deployment of the Hungarian soldiers to Iraq has not been announced, there are speculations that the forces could arrive in the crisis-hit Arab country in the second half of May.
Last year, Hungary sent ammunition to Iraq to help the armed forces in their fight against ISIL.
Meanwhile, Australia said on Tuesday that 330 troops are heading to Iraq for two years to train local soldiers fighting ISIL.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the troops would be deployed from Wednesday, and operate from the Taji base, which lies north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, alongside 100 soldiers from New Zealand.
Some 170 Australian troops are already in Iraq advising Iraqi forces. Another 400 air force personnel, stationed in al-Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, are backing Australian airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.
ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The terrorists are currently in control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. They have also swept through parts of the country's Sunni Arab heartland ever since.
Locals say the US-led airstrikes against ISIL positions are not working.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have been engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have seized.
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