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Aust, NZ train more Iraqi soldiers

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Max Blenkin, Defence Correspondent

Australian and New Zealand have concluded the training of another two Iraqi army brigades for the fight to regain Mosul from Islamic State.

The latest graduates are 3000 already experienced soldiers of the Iraqi Army's 75th and 76th Brigades who take the number who have undergone training to more than 12,000.

Members of the 76th Brigade returned for their second period of training after participating in recent fighting against IS in Fallujah and Ramadi.

The Iraqi government is now finalising plans for operations to expel IS forces from Mosul, the nation's second largest city.

Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, Air Vice Marshal Tim Innes, said Task Group Taji was training about 3000 Iraqi soldiers a month for this fight.

He said IS, also referred to as Daesh, was losiung ground every day.

"The Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga Forces now hold more than 50 per cent of the territory Daesh once claimed including Qayyarah, Makhmur, Rutbah and other towns in the surrounding Mosul area," he said in a defence statement.

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