United Kingdom to send additonal army personnel to Iraq to support fight against Islamic State

Defence & Security News - United Kingdom
United Kingdom to send additional army personnel to Iraq to support fight against Islamic State
The UK is to send nearly 60 extra Army personnel to Iraq to support the fight against self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militants, it has been announced. Prime Minister David Cameron authorised the decision to send the team to help deliver training for Kurdish forces fighting IS, also known as Isil. Most of the troops will provide assistance and training in explosives, however, a 10-men team will train the Iraqi army's infantry.
United Kingdom to send additional army personnel to Iraq to support fight against Islamic State 640 001British troops to be sent in Iraq will provide assistance and training in IEDs
The new deployment follows the announcement made in January by Prime Minister David Cameron – after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama – claiming his country would lead efforts to train local forces, with a special focus on defusing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

It also coincides with an upcoming operation to retake the city of Mosul, an Islamic State stronghold, which will begin some time in April or May.

(The) training will give Iraqi forces a vital capability in taking the fight to ISIS (Islamic State group) and is another example of our commitment to the campaign against ISIS,” explained Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

"It will take time but the coalition airstrikes are having a direct impact in supporting Iraqi ground operations to retake areas and push back ISIS," added Fallon.

However concerns have been raised about the UK troop's role. Last month, the House of Commons Defense Committee issued a report on the British mission in Iraq, pointing out flaws in the mission.

The committee was shocked by the inability or unwillingness of any of the service chiefs to provide a clear, and articulate statement of the UK’s objectives or strategic plan in Iraq. There was a lack of clarity over who owns the policy – and indeed whether or not such a policy exists,” says the report.

The additional troops to Iraq is the latest in a series of UK announcements in recent months.

In February, it was revealed that the UK would send 2,000 'specialist' troops and a spy plane to Jordan, which borders Syria and Iraq. One government source said that those troops could "ready for force protection purposes if that decision is taken.” The move was described by the UK Stop the War Coalition as showing the "UK government clearly has learnt nothing from the disastrous foreign interventions" of recent years.