NATO has decided to enhance its contribution to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS. The U.S.-led Coalition has been providing air support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces notably since the beginning of the battle of Mosul, which is considered to be one of the biggest military operation since 2003.
Peshmerga and Iraqi forces have already managed to regain at least 30 villages since the offensive started, the 17th of October.
NATO will support the coalition by providing surveillance in order to make the sky safer with its “advanced Airborne Warning and Control System Aircraft” (AWACS). This system uses radars, set on top of the planes, able to detect aircrafts and ships at a great distance. NATO’s AWACS are based at the NATO Airbase Geilenkirchen in Germany and AWACS aircrews are drawn from 15 NATO member countries.
Yesterday, during the press conference in preparation of the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, announced that, whilst NATO would not participate per say in the fight against ISIS, the organisation was still going to increase its commitment. He said NATO had already trained hundreds of Iraqi officers in Jordan.
All 28 NATO members belong to the Global Coalition but some are against the direct involvement of the coalition in the Syrian conflict, the aircrafts will therefore fly in the international airspace and over some NATO member, notably Turkey, from where the radar can check Syria and Iraq.
Today, NATO will also consider the future of its deployment in the Aegean Sea, and take decisions on a NATO role in the Central Mediterranean, which could support the EU’s Operation Sophia.