UK to deploy additional trainers to support ISIS combat mission in Iraq

30 June 2016 (Last Updated June 30th, 2016 18:30)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to deploy additional troops to Iraq in support of the fight against ISIS.

UKtrain

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to deploy additional troops to Iraq in support of the fight against ISIS.

Nearly 50 personnel will be sent to the Al Asad Airbase in Western Iraq to train the Iraqi Army 7th Division, border guards and federal police in countering improvised explosive devices (c-IED), infantry skills and combat first aid.

The extra trainers will collaborate with the US and Danish forces.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Iraqi forces have Daesh on the back foot and are retaking territory, hitting its finances and striking its leadership.

"This deployment will help the Iraqi forces to build on this success and push them back further."

"Iraqi forces have Daesh on the back foot and are retaking territory, hitting its finances and striking its leadership."

The UK will send around 90 personnel to assist with guarding the airbase, and around 30 personnel to form a Head Quarter staff to help command the mission.

An engineering squadron will also be deployed for around six months to build necessary infrastructure supporting the deployment.

Fallon also committed to providing £1.4m worth of ammunition to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

To date, more than 1,100 British soldiers have trained more than 18,000 members of the Iraqi security forces (ISF), including Kurdish forces, in Besmaya, Erbil and Taji.

The UK Royal Air Force's aircraft have carried out around 900 strikes against ISIS from their base in Akrotiri, Cyprus.


Image: A British soldier teaches an Iraqi soldier how to expose an improvised explosive device during breaching training. Photo: courtesy of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve.