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New Zealand Rules Out Combat Troops In Iraq, Could Send Trainers

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said on November 5 that his country will not send troops into combat roles in Iraq as part of international efforts against Islamic State militants.

But Key said his government would consider sending soldiers to help train local Iraqi forces behind the front lines.

Key made the remarks during a speech on national security in Wellington, the capital of his Pacific Island nation.

He said government agencies have a watch list of up to 40 New Zealanders who are thought to be engaged in Islamic extremist activities -- including some who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State militants.

Key said 10 military planners from New Zealand are to travel to the Middle East to assess the situation and provide further information to the government about the proposal to send trainers to Iraq.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa