Hungary planning to send troops to Iraq to join coalition against Islamic State militants

Hungary's prime minister says his government will ask parliament to authorize sending Hungarian troops to join its western allies in the fight against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq.

Viktor Orban told a meeting of Hungarian diplomats on Monday that taking part in military activities organized by Hungary's Western coalition partners would bring prestige and recognition to the country's foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said earlier that, based on a request from the United States, Hungary could send 100-150 soldiers to work with German and Italian forces in northern Iraq guarding training centers for Iraqi troops.

While Orban's Fidesz party no longer has the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to authorize the military mission, some opposition lawmakers said they would be willing to back the proposal.