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War on Isis: 300 Spanish troops to train Iraqi army

Spain's parliament is expected to approve on Friday the sending of 300 soldiers to Iraq to train the country's army so that it is better equipped to fight the terror group Isis.

War on Isis: 300 Spanish troops to train Iraqi army
Smoke rises from an airstrike in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds on Thursday. Kurdish fighters appeared to control most of the town on Thursday amid continued US air strik

Spain' defence minister will appear in parliament in Friday to give details on how the country will participate in a US-led coalition to stamp out Isis.

Spain's chief contribution will be the sending of 300 troops to Iraq, El País newspaper reported on Friday.  

The Spanish government will also allow coalition forces to use the US military bases of Rota and Morón de la Frontera in its operations.

Previously, foreign minister José Manuel García-Margallo said that Spain's contribution to the fight against Isis would include supply of lethal weapons, information gathering, and in-flight refuelling of aircraft.

But he ruled out the sending of combat troops and has also said it won't participate in aerial bombings of the country.

The arrival of 300 troops in Iraq will be the first time Spanish troops have been present in the country in a decade.

SEE ALSO: Isis seducing Danish women to seek paradise

Spain's involvement in the Second Gulf War was hugely contentious domestically and had a major bearing on the results of the country's 2004 general elections.

A terrorist attack in Madrid on March 11th, 2004, just three days before Spanish voters went to the polls, killed a total of 191 people on two suburban trains.

Spain's conservative Popular Party government of the time initially blamed the attacks on the Basque separatist group ETA. But many Spaniards believed they were trying to deflect attention from a possible link between the bombings and Spain's involvement in the Iraq War.

The Popular Party lost the general elections and a socialist PSOE government took power, subsequently withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq.

Spain is currently also fighting Isis closer to home, working with Moroccan authorities to break up cells dedicated to recruiting jihadists for the fight in Iraq and Sierra.

In later September Spanish and Moroccan security forces detained Mohamed, a Spanish national of Moroccan descent, and eight other suspected members of the cell on Friday in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa and the nearby Moroccan town of Nador. 

On Wednesday, French anti-terror police said they would investigate after reports said eleven members of one family including the grandmother and six-month-old baby, have left the country bound for Syria in the hope of joining Isis extremists.

On the same day, 1,300 police officers were deployed in the German city of Hamburg to prevent violence re-erupting between local Kurds and Muslim fundamentalists.

More than 1,000 Kurds took part in a peaceful demonstration against Isis violence against Kurdish cities in Syria, especially the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane.

But some of the demonstrators returned to the St. Georg district, scene of the Tuesday night street battles in which 14 people were injured, and began throwing bottles and stones, police said.

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POLICE

WATCH: Spanish police arrest ‘most wanted’ ISIS suspect hiding out in Spanish lockdown

A former British rapper and notorious Islamic state suspect has been arrested in Spain, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

WATCH: Spanish police arrest 'most wanted' ISIS suspect hiding out in Spanish lockdown
Photo: Ministry Interior

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a former rapper from west London who once posted an image of himself holding a severed head on Twitter, has been arrested in the southern coastal city of Almeria, the source said.

Police had on Tuesday announced the arrest of “one of the most wanted foreign terrorist fighters of Daesh” — the Arabic acronym for Islamic State — identifying him as an Egyptian national but without giving his name or saying exactly when he was detained.

Speaking to AFP, a Spanish judicial source confirmed it was Bary.   

Police said the suspect “had recently entered Spain illegally and was found hiding in a rented flat” in Almeria where several other people were also arrested.

“He is one of the most wanted terrorists in Europe on grounds of his criminal record within the ranks of Daesh and because he is extremely dangerous,” a police statement said.

Before arriving in Spain, Bary spent “several years in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq”, police said, describing him as presenting “some very strange personality traits and an extremely violent criminal profile which had brought him to the attention of Europe's police and intelligence services”.

Born in London, Bary shot to notoriety after his Twitter post in which could be seen holding up the severed head alongside the caption: “Chillin' with my homie, or what's left of him”.

He is the son of Adel Abdel Bary, an Egyptian who in 2015 was sentenced to 25 years behind bars by a US court for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 and wounded more than 5,000 others.

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