British soldiers train female Peshmerga fighters to combat ISIS

28 March 2016 (Last Updated March 28th, 2016 18:30)

British soldiers deployed to Northern Iraq have completed a training programme for female Peshmerga fighters, in a bid to strengthen Iraqi forces in their fight against ISIS.

Peshmerga soldiers

British soldiers deployed to Northern Iraq have completed a training programme for female Peshmerga fighters, in a bid to strengthen Iraqi forces in their fight against ISIS.

As part of the training programme, female soldiers were trained in infantry, medical and counter-improvised explosive device (IED) skills by the troops from 1st Battalion The Rifles and their Dutch partners.

The soldiers were also trained in the Law of Armed Conflict and Protection of Civilians.

The three-week training course was conducted for roughly 120 female soldiers, and is the first for the 66-nation counter-Daesh coalition.

"These brave female Peshmerga fighters will help ensure that Daesh are kicked out of Iraq for good and we must keep supporting them."

The women will be deployed for the operation to recapture Mosul, as well as handle the civilian victims of Daesh sexual violence.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "The Iraqis are rightly leading the fight for the security of their own country. These brave female Peshmerga fighters will help ensure that Daesh are kicked out of Iraq for good and we must keep supporting them."

The British Forces have trained more than 24,000 Iraqi soldiers during the programme to strengthen the Iraqi military against Daesh. Nearly 3,000 troops are currently in training.

Since 2014, coalition airstrikes and training have assisted Iraqi forces in recapturing nearly 40% of the territory initially seized by ISIS.


Image: Female Peshmerga troops receive training from British Army personnel in Northern Iraq. Photo: Courtesy of UK Government.