Are NZ's troops vital to fight the Islamic State?

Author
Corazon Miller,
Publish Date
Mon, 2 Mar 2015, 6:43AM

Are NZ's troops vital to fight the Islamic State?

Author
Corazon Miller,
Publish Date
Mon, 2 Mar 2015, 6:43AM

The Prime Minister's claims that our troops will be vital in the fight against the Islamic State are being met with some scepticism.

John Key's claiming that his decision to send troops over to Iraq is the best option to ensure our safety.

But Massey University University lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics Nigel Parsons is doubtful that our contribution is so vital.

He says the money spent on sending our troops over could be better spent on other measures such as foreign and humanitarian aid.

"You have to wonder why the Islamic State have behaved so provocatively, whether or not increasing or accelerating Western intervention is actually precisely what they want."

The UN mission to Iraq says violence in the country claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians.

The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq says 611 civilians are among 1,103 people killed last month. The rest were members of the security forces.

It said at least 2,280 people were wounded, including 1,353 civilians.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is launching a campaign to help families in Syria get some essential items, such as toothpaste, soap, toilet paper and sanitary pads.

Syria has been ravaged by civil war for more than three years. The Islamic State first gained a foothold there.

Head of International Programs at Australian Red Cross Peter Walton says many can no longer afford such items and even if they can access is limited.

"The simple trip to the shops often carries great risk of violence especially for women and children."

"It's almost impossible to get these basic supplies to so many millions of people."

Walton says the number of those affected has reached 16 million - that's almost four times the size of New Zealand's population.

"We have twelve million people within the country struggling to find basic shelter, three point eight million refugees in neighbouring countries."

"It really is a humanitarian crisis of almost unprecedented scale."

 

 

 

 

 

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