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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UK to increase training to Iraqi forces

12 March 2016

Britain is set to pledge several dozen more troops to support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) as they take the fight to Daesh.

The Defence Secretary has authorised an offer of more than 30 extra troops to provide training in areas such as logistics and bridge building, as well as specialist medical staff. They are expected to be deployed to training locations at Besmayah and Taji.

The uplift will build on the training the UK already provides the Iraqi forces in infantry skills, counter-Improvised Explosives and weapons maintenance. These training programmes have saved lives and supported recent successful operations on the ground, such as the retaking of Ramadi. It will bring the total number of UK personnel involved in training inside Iraq to over 300, and the total engaged in theatre to over 1,000.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

'We've seen solid progress against Daesh in Iraq in recent months. Now is the time to step up our training of Iraqi Forces, as they prepare for operations in key cities such as Fallujah and Mosul.'

'Along with the trebling of UK air strikes, this underlines the crucial role our armed forces are playing in the fight against Daesh.'

The British army has helped train more than 6,500 personnel in Iraq to date, while the RAF has flown around 2200 missions against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, carrying out more than 640 strikes.

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