- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - Slovakia’s defense ministry says the country will keep its military presence in Iraq after the government approved a plan to deploy up to 42 soldiers there next year to help train Iraqi security forces as part of a NATO mission.

The ministry says the soldiers and military police officers will cooperate with allied forces from Italy and the United States. The plan still needs to be approved by Slovakia’s Parliament, where the coalition government has a majority.

The defense ministry said Wednesday that the Slovak soldiers won’t be engaged in combat but will advise Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants.

Slovakia sent 25 service members to Iraq in the NATO mission this year.

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