US defense chief: NATO to take part in Daesh war
NATO will contribute AWACS aircraft, train Iraqi forces, Carter says
NATO will take “a more direct role” in the fight against Daesh, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Monday.
“First by contributing AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System] and conducting training and defense capacity building for Iraq inside Iraq rather than in Jordan," Carter said at an annual conference of the Center for New American Security think tank.
"Hopefully that will be the start of more to come,” he added.
Carter did not provide further details about the alliance’s role in the fight against Daesh but it was apparently discussed at a NATO ministerial meeting in Belgium’s capital Brussels earlier this month and will be discussed next month at the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland.
The top defense official said the alliance will also complement the European Union’s efforts to deal with migrant and refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea.
He added that as a part of that effort the U.S. is sending a rescue and salvage ship with capabilities to give assistance to disabled ships, provide towing, diving, firefighting and heavy lift abilities.
More than 206,000 migrants or refugees have crossed into Greece and Italy since the beginning of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In the past four years, 1.4 million refugees have crossed the Mediterranean according to IOM data and more than 8,100 refugees died during that same period.