Jacinda Ardern's U-turn on pulling troops out of Iraq

The Labour-led Government is extending New Zealand's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan despite promising in Opposition to pull troops out.

It was former Prime Minister John Key who sent troops into Iraq, but it's incumbent leader Jacinda Ardern who's keeping them there.

Jacinda Ardern's U-turn on pulling troops out of Iraq
Photo credit: Newshub

New Zealand Defence Force personnel will now remain in Iraq until June next year, although the number of troops will fall slightly from 143 to 121.

"ISIS remains a threat," she says.

New Zealand has 143 troops training Iraqi soldiers at Camp Taji. Ms Ardern is pulling out 22 of them in November, but keeping the rest there longer - an extra seven months.

The troops were initially deployed in May 2015. It was meant to go until May 2017, but was extended by Mr Key to November 2018. Now, it has crept out under Labour to June 2019.

Jacinda Ardern's U-turn on pulling troops out of Iraq
Photo credit: Newshub

What was supposed to be a two-year deployment is now four years and counting - and it was controversial from the outset.

In Opposition, Labour promised to pull the troops out, accusing National of mission creep.

The troops are what's called 'behind the wire' - and the mandate hasn't changed.

The Prime Minister is refusing to comment on whether New Zealand's elite soldiers, the SAS, will or have joined them.

Newshub.

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