Picture: Ministry of Defence
The Diplomat. Madrid
New delay in the deployment of the 300 Spanish soldiers moving to Iraq in order to train the Iraqi Armed Forces in their fight against the Islamic State. The authorization of the Congress of Deputies for the mission happened at the end of October, but, since then, several obstacles have delayed the start of it.
Yesterday, sources of the Ministry of Defence affirmed to The Diplomat that the advance party of the contingent will go to the Arabic country the last week of January. The Spanish soldiers will take service passports with them that will grant then immunity comparable to that of diplomats and a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that there will be no delays when issuing the aforementioned documents.
Therefore, the delay is mainly due to the permission to overfly Baghdad, although the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haidar al-Abadi, denounced on Sunday the “slowness” of the international coalition led by the United States to send the military instructors.
Soldiers will be given service passports comparable to diplomatic immunity
The first Spanish forces will leave from the Special Operations Command of the Army, based in Alicante. The mission will last for six extendable months and will have an approximate cost of 35 million euros.
The Spanish contingent will be divided into three parts: a hundred soldiers will be in Baghdad offering training in special operations; other 200 will be in Besmaya’s base to train several Iraqi units; whereas twenty officials will be distributed to different headquarters of the international coalition (Baghdad and Kuwait City).