The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has re-affirmed the country’s intention to expand the number of military personnel it has stationed in Afghanistan. He said he envisaged that the country will have around 1000 troops working alongside other allies in the war-torn nation; this would be an increase of 200 Spanish personnel.

He will first have to get approval for the additional troops from Parliament before they can be sent to the Afghan provinces of Badghis and Herat where the current contingent is stationed. The troops will be working on the NATO flag in what is known as the International Security Assistance Force.

The existing Spanish troops on the ground are partly non-combatant, in that they are forbidden to confront the Taliban unless they are under attack. However only a week ago they were involved in a heavy fire-fight with the Taliban which saw over a dozen of the enemy killed.