NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Thursday the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh and noted that the purpose of the military operation in Iraq has always been to defeat IS.

"So when Daesh (IS) is defeated, when Mosul is liberated then we need capable Iraqi forces which are capable to keep Daesh down and create conditions for stability and peaceful development in Iraq," he told a press conference after the end of a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

"We think NATO's role in Iraq goes beyond the liberation of Mosul and beyond the immediate defeat of Daesh," he said adding, "we are now working on how to help them to modernizing security institutions".

On Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said 39 Allies and partners are working with the Afghans to help them make their country more secure and to prevent it from ever again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists.

"We will sustain our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2017.

Our military authorities have requested a few thousand more troops for the Mission and today, I can confirm that we will increase our presence in Afghanistan," he added without giving any figures on the increase of the troops.

On his part, US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis told a separate press conference at NATO tonight that the defence ministers discussed threats in the security situation from the east and the south, he said, naming Russia and terrorism.

"Our focus was heavily on adapting NATO to these circumstances. We focused on counter-terrorism and Russia's de-stabilizing activities in cyber space and on the ground.

Source: NAM News Network