The UK Government has announced plans to supply additional military equipment to the Kurdish Peshmerga to better fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
In a written statement to the Parliament, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the country will supply a further £600,000 worth of military equipment to the Iraqi Government, including the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Comprising medical supplies such as tourniquets, bandage kits and dressing for wounds to fill gaps in the Peshmerga’s resources, the new package is being supplied at the request of KRG to ensure proper treatment of injuries sustained in combat.
Britain has already donated more than 50t of non lethal equipment, heavy machine guns, nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, as well as 1000 Vallon counter-improvised explosives device (IED) detectors to the Peshmerga, who drove ISIL militants out of several towns in northern Iraq.
The country has also delivered more than 300t of weapons and ammunition on behalf of other nations contributing to the anti-ISIL coalition.
In addition, the UK is supporting the US-led Syrian moderate opposition education programme, and has also instructed more than 1,400 Iraqi Security Force personnel.
Plans are also underway to treble the counter-IED training effort in the coming months, which will take the total number of UK personnel supporting operations against ISIL to nearly 1,000.
As one of the largest contributors to coalition airstrikes, the UK Royal Air Force assets, such as Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, are patrolling the skies over Iraq, providing intelligence and surveillance, while its Voyagers routinely refuel coalition aircraft.
The airstrikes are being launched by Tornado GR4 fighters operating out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
Britain clams that its niche expertise, capabilities and equipment has allowed the Iraqi ground forces to liberate around 25% of ISIL-held territory since the coalition started operations in 2014.
The UK Government is also providing £59.5m in humanitarian assistance to support Iraqi people who have fled from ISIL.
Image: UK soldiers deliver training to Kurdistan troops as part of CIED training in Erbil, Iraq. Photo: © Crown copyright..