Report says New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq – World Socialist Web Site

Report says New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq – World Socialist Web Site – The information, attributed to Peshmerga officers, is the first report that New Zealand troops are active in a combat role in Iraq. In early 2015 the National Party government sent around 140 army troops to Iraq as part of a joint Australia-New Zealand mission to train Iraqi soldiers. The government has repeatedly described this as a “non-combat” deployment, even though the vast majority of the 140 soldiers are not involved in training but in vaguely defined “force protection.” The government and opposition Labour Party justify support for the war, like earlier deployments to Afghanistan, on the basis of combating terrorism. In reality, the Obama administration aims to cement its control over Iraq and Syria and to roll back Russian and Iranian influence in the Middle East. In Syria, the US and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, are supporting Al Qaeda-linked militias to carry out a proxy war against the Assad regime, which is backed by Russia. The brutal five-year-long conflict is threatening to escalate into a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. The Guardian’s statement that the New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq prompted denials from Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee.

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