Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





Sweden to double military advisors in Kurdistan

By Rudaw 25/10/2016
Swedish PM Stefan Löfven was greeted at the airport by Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Visiting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced Monday his government will increase the number of military personnel in the Kurdistan Region from 35 to 70 advisors.


Lövfen arrived in Erbil late Monday evening after meeting with Iraqi top officials in Baghdad, where he pledged more support for the ongoing war against ISIS in the country.


“We will expand our efforts against Daesh (ISIS) because we consider it so important. Sweden plans on doubling the number of people from 35 to 70 and also to become more flexible geographically,” Löfven told reporters after his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Baghdad.


Swedish advisors are based in the Kurdistan Region and have been training Kurdish Peshmerga forces since 2015.


In Erbil, Lövfen was greeted by his Kurdish counterpart Nechirvan Barzani at the airport, marking the first official visit by a serving Swedish premier to the Kurdistan Region.


"This was a planned part of the trip," Jonatan Holst, press secretary of the Swedish PM, told daily Aftonbladet, without giving further details due to "security reasons."


Lövfen travelled to Iraq directly from Saudi Arabia where he had meeting with the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdelaziz in Riyadh on Sunday.


The taskforce, which will need the formal approval of the Swedish parliament, will only be engaged in training missions inside the Kurdistan Region, where German and British military personnel have set up special training camps for Peshmerga forces.

Kurdish sources said the ongoing military operation to retake Mosul and the predicted refugee crisis will be on the agenda as Lövfen meets Kurdish President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday.    


The Swedish support for the Kurdish struggle against the jihadists has so far been more humanitarian than military. Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who visited refugee camps in Erbil in September 2014, said the Swedish aid agency (SIDA) will allocate the bulk of their budget for the coming years to help refugees in Iraq and Turkey with over 3 million refugees.


The serving Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Walström has said her country has comprehensive experience in humanitarian missions and that is why they had focused on relief efforts in Kurdistan.


Over 300 Swedes are presumed to have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS as foreign fighters, according to the director of the Swedish intelligence (SÄPO), Anders Thornberg, who earlier said that at least 100 Swedes are now confirmed to be ISIS recruits in the Middle East. 


Non kurd | 25/10/2016
Thank you Sweden. This is a logical move to stem the tide of refugees pouring into Europe from Iraq and Syria. It's cheaper to simply train local forces to fight daesh and protect refugees.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

John Bird | 11/13/2018 6:35:32 AM
The Kurdish share in the budget is only $10 billion. That’s the Kurdish demand. If you declare independence today, even without Kirkuk, and modernize...
Iraqi MPs fail to pass gov’t proposed budget, will hear party complaints
| yesterday at 09:05 | (1)
INDEPENDENCE | 11/13/2018 6:06:11 AM
The KDP has won the elections but is being blackmailed by an armed group which is the PUK. The PUK is an armed group going after money and position....
Scant progress on government formation – months after KRG election
| yesterday at 06:42 | (1)
Unite | 11/12/2018 10:26:54 PM
If only posters are made out of every statement in this article and wallpaper every walls, billboards,buses and trains round the world with them. And...
Guest | 11/12/2018 11:00:14 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other;...
World Order Without Kurdistan, Oops America!
| yesterday at 04:25 | (6)
Unite | 11/12/2018 10:43:59 PM
Whether Turkey telling lies, not telling the truth or playing political game; what is the difference? To me, it is all the same. Erdogan is a hard...
Turkey, France spar over Khashoggi killing
| yesterday at 11:56 | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Blinded in war, former Syrian fighter guides others with app 4 hours ago |

Blinded in war, former Syrian fighter guides others with app

“I didn’t give up. I continued living” more
NSA Bolton: US can apply more sanctions to Iran until they ‘squeak’ 22 hours ago |

NSA Bolton: US can apply more sanctions to Iran until they ‘squeak’

"It is our intention to squeeze them very hard. more
KRG authorities crack down on unlicensed firearm ownership 23 hours ago |

KRG authorities crack down on unlicensed firearm ownership

Around 3,150 gun owners in the Kurdistan Region more
0.422 seconds