The UK Government has decided to send additional troops to Anbar Province in Iraq to step up its presence in the fight against ISIS.
As part of the Global Coalition’s presence in the country, about 44 additional royal engineers from 5 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 22 Engineer Regiment in Tidworth will deploy to Al Asad Airbase in August. This will increase the UK footprint there to more than 300.
The latest deployment, which is for around six months, brings the total number of UK personnel currently supporting the multinational effort against ISIS in Iraq to over 600 as the campaign to defeat the terrorist organisation enters its final phase.
The additional personnel have been tasked with constructing 80 housing units, a squadron headquarters and offices in the coalition camp.
UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “We are stepping up our contribution to the fight against Daesh and fulfilling Britain’s role as a key player in the global coalition.
“Daesh is being defeated. Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, have now liberated 70% of the territory Daesh held and the victims of its barbarism are being helped by our humanitarian support.
“These extra troops will help support operations to bring the defeat of Daesh a step closer.”
The UK personnel have trained more than 58,000 Iraqi security forces in infantry, counter-IED, engineering and combat medical skills.
In addition, the RAF aircraft have so far conducted around 1,400 strikes against ISIS from their base in Akrotiri, Cyprus.