UK military personnel have started the delivery of counter-improvised explosive devices (C-IED) training to members of the Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq.
The training will help Iraqi soldiers counter a particular tactic used by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists who are well known for their intensive use of explosives when retreating.
The programme aims to ensure that the soldiers are better-equipped to counter ISIL, while enabling them to safely clear territory and return it to local people who have been displaced and are currently unable to return to their homes.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "I’m pleased to announce that the new courses of C-IED training for Iraqi ground forces have started this weekend, following the Prime Minister’s pledge this summer that the UK would increase the number of personnel assisting the Iraqi government’s counter-ISIL efforts.
"Fifty personnel from 33 Engineer Regiment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), will deliver life-saving C-IED instruction to members of the Iraqi Security Forces in Besmaya and Taji."
Based in the Kurdish capital Erbil, British troops have already trained more than 2,170 members of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in C-IED tactics and techniques, including using Vallon metal detectors.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Kurdish forces have recently defeated 60 IEDs and avoided an additional 300 in a single village using 1,000 Vallon detectors gifted by the UK in June.
To date, the UK is said to have provided more than 50t of non lethal equipment, heavy machine guns, nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, as well as a further £600,000 worth of military equipment to the Kurdish Peshmerga.
Image: A UK Training Team member explains a system to mark the potential threat in an urban area as part of an IED lesson at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Ministry of Defence / © Crown.