Portugal sends troops to fight IS

Portugal will be sending 30 soldiers to Iraq to help international forces in the fight against terrorist group Islamic State.

The news was confirmed by Portuguese Foreign Affairs Minister Rui Machete after a meeting with his American counterpart John Kerry on Tuesday (April 21).

The decision had already been made by the National Defence Council in December, Lusa news agency reports.

Intriguingly, Portuguese President Cavaco Silva said in October that at the time there were “no plans” to deploy military forces against the terrorist group (see story https://www.portugalresident.com/portugal-has-refused-troop-deployment-against-jihadists).

But as Machete explained, the men will not actually engage in battle against IS – they will focus instead on helping prepare Iraqi military forces near Baghdad.

Machete did not reveal when the troops will be leaving.

Meantime, Kerry thanked Portugal for its willingness to help international efforts against IS.