NZ focused on protecting NZDF troops in Iraq from retaliation - Ron Mark

As the repercussions of an Iranian general's targeted killing continue to ripple, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) says it's focusing on the protection of Kiwis troops in Iraq.

Iranian general Qassem Soleimani's death from a US airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump has caused escalating tensions in the Middle East and calls for retaliation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable risks to their safety".

He says their security situation is being kept under close review, including implications for New Zealand personnel.

Minister of Defence Ron Mark has confirmed that the NZDF currently has a total of 50 personnel deployed in Iraq.

"There are 45 personnel in Camp Taji and five personnel in Baghdad, so the Government, along with its coalition partners, is closely monitoring the situation," Mark said in a statement on Monday.

"Currently, training activities with the Iraqi forces at Taji are on hold, as the focus turns to the force protection of our members."

Mark reassured NZDF families and the public that "the NZDF remains vigilant to any changes in the security environment anywhere our troops are deployed".

"Stringent force protection remains in place to ensure all deployed NZDF personnel remain as safe as possible," he said.

President Trump has promised to "quickly and fully strike back" if threats of retaliation play out. He is sending additional troops to the region, where it appears that even from the grave, Soleimani is inspiring another war.