British soldiers will be sent to Iraq to train Kurdish and Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State 14141

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Defence & Security News - United Kingdom

 
 
Sunday, December 14, 2014 08:44 AM
 
British soldiers will be sent to Iraq to train Kurdish and Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that hundreds of British troops will be sent to Iraq next month to train local Kurdish and Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Fallon says the British service personnel will be training Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from January.
     
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that hundreds of British troops will be sent to Iraq next month to train local Kurdish and Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Fallon says the British service personnel will be training Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from January.
The Iraqi government is battling the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) for control of the country.
     

A small “force protection” deployment of combat-ready soldiers is also expected to be sent to defend the military training teams, who will be based at four centres inside Iraq, Mr Fallon said.

The new mission represents the first significant deployment of ground force since the last British troops withdrew from Iraq three years ago.

The details are still to be finalised but Mr Fallon told The Telegraph that the number of troops involved would be in “the very low hundreds”. At present, there are 50 British troops inside Iraq training local forces.

Iraqi forces lack the training, equipment and specialists they need to defeat the jihadists and this is where Britain will take the lead in January.

In particular, British experts will share their specialist knowledge of bomb disposal techniques, gained from years of experience of dealing with roadside devices in Afghanistan.

The training teams will be based in four “safe areas” – one in Kurdish territory and the other three nearer to Baghdad - these military trainers will also need to be protected.

A group of combat-ready soldiers in a so called “force protection” unit will also “probably” be British, Mr Fallon said. These soldiers will not be expected to fight a war but will be there to defend the British personnel if necessary.

 

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