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NATO to join anti-IS coalition but unlikely to engage in combat

May 26, 0:23 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

According to the NATO chief, the organization will help in training civilian and military specialists in Iraq

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

© EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

BRUSSELS, May 25. /TASS/. NATO will offer extended support to the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State radicals (outlawed in Russia) in Iraq and Syria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

"We agreed that NATO will become a full member of the Global Coalition, in which all 28 allies already take part," Stoltenberg said.

"We also decided to expand our support to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS."

"Being in the coalition does not mean that NATO will engage in combat," the NATO chief said after the organization's summit in Brussels. "But it does send a strong signal of our commitment to fight global terrorism. And it will enable NATO to take part in political deliberations."

According to the NATO chief, the organization will help in training civilian and military specialists in Iraq. The alliance will continue missions by AWACS surveillance planes to help improve airspace management for the coalition, but was not planning to engage in any kind of operations on the territory of Syria.

Until recently, NATO as an organization has not been a formal member of the coalition, but rendered various support to its partners. The alliance carries out regular surveillance flights along the Syrian-Turkish border without crossing into the Syrian airspace. In addition, NATO has been training Iraqi army officers.

A high-ranking NATO source earlier said that the decision to join the coaltition will be of both symbolic and practical significance for NATO, giving the organization access to decision-making meetings of the coalition members.

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