Spain to send 300 soldiers to train Iraqi troops for combat Islamic State group

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Spain says it plans to send 300 soldiers to help train the Iraqi army for combat against the Islamic State group.

Defense Minister Pedro Morenes said Friday that the troops, part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, were not being sent to fight but added that anything could happen.

He said the seven-to-eight week operation was aimed at containing the advance of the Islamic State by training Iraqi troops in explosives handling, land mine clearance and special operations.

Parliament must approve the decision, but opposition is unlikely

It would be the first time that Spanish troops are in Iraq since Spain in 2004 withdrew the peacekeepers it sent there as part of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.