- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - Albania’s defense minister says it plans to send an infantry platoon to become part of the anti-IS coalition in Iraq.

Mimi Kodheli on Monday told a parliamentary committee that following a request from the United States they had agreed to send a unit with about 30 infantry troops for military operations in Iraq.

The Iraqi government must agree before the Albanian government will seek parliamentary approval, she said, as “we are not speaking as being part of NATO, but of a volunteer global coalition.”

Albania has been in Iraq before with army units protecting or accompanying military or public objects but not with a ground-operational platoon.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009, takes part in international peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Mali and the Aegean Sea.

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