NZ congratulates Iraq on Mosul 'milestone'

Iraqi Federal police and boys celebrate in West Mosul. Photo: Reuters
Iraqi Federal police and boys celebrate in West Mosul. Photo: Reuters

New Zealand has congratulated Iraq and pledged more funding after Isis forces were defeated in the city of Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now in Mosul and has congratulated armed forces for their "victory" over Isis, after nearly nine months of fighting in the city.

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee said the city's capture was an important milestone.

Gerry Brownlee
Gerry Brownlee

"Losing the symbolic heartland of its so-called Caliphate in Iraq will serve as a severe blow to Isis fighters and its supporters around the globe."

Mr Brownlee said a further $1.4 million contribution would be made through NZ Aid to the United Nations Funding Facility For Immediate Stabilisation.

"New Zealand remains committed to coalition efforts. Now is the time to demonstrate to Isis, through our ongoing commitment, that Iraq and the global coalition are dedicated to defeating the terrorist threat."

The defeat of Isis in Mosul comes three years after the militants took the city. The United Nations predicts it will cost more than $US1 billion ($NZ1.4b) to repair basic infrastructure in Mosul.

New Zealand troops have been based in Iraq and Camp Taji, just outside of Baghdad, as part of a joint mission with Australia to train members of the Iraqi Security Force.

Last year the government announced it was extending the deployment by 18 months, until November 2018.

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