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NATO summit to rally support to deal with Iraqi jihadists

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NATO summit to rally support to deal with Iraqi jihadists


European leaders will be urged to help tackle the threat from Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria when the second day of the NATO summit gets under way in Wales on Friday.

Although alliance-led military action is unlikely, it is thought that NATO could revive a training mission for Iraqi armed forces that ended in 2011.

Several member states including the US and Britain have sent military equipment to Kurdish forces fighting jihadists and other European countries could provide intelligence and other support.

The issue is due to be discussed at a meeting of NATO’s principal political decision-making body The North Atlantic Council on Friday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said a range of options were on the table to ensure the extremist group is blocked.

“What is required is action on the ground, from the Kurds, from the new Iraqi government, from the neighbouring states, all that pressure being applied and then yes of course there is a role that countries like Britain and America and others can play; we’re already playing that role, we’re arming the Kurds, we’re helping the Iraqi government, we’re flying missions over Iraq, we’re supplying humanitarian aid. The Americans have been taking part in air strikes, which we support, all those things need to go together,” he said.

As NATO operations in Afghanistan prepare to wind down later this year, leaders released a declaration promising future support to the country against the threat from terrorists.

NATO leaders also made it clear they won’t use force to defend Ukraine from Russian “aggression” but on Thursday vowed to apply tougher economic sanctions on Moscow.

Western leaders are cautious about Kremlin talk of an imminent ceasefire in the five-month old conflict in eastern Ukraine, which could be confirmed on Friday.

Euronews correspondent James Franey is in Wales for the NATO summit.

“There’ve been so many false dawns in this conflict before. The decision for President Poroshenko is whether he thinks Mr Putin is sincere about brokering an end to this conflict or merely protecting Russian interests,” he said.

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