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Britain to boost military role in Iraq to tackle IS
Britain is planning to offer more military training and advisory personnel to Iraq to help local forces combat extremist Islamic State (IS) militant group, British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced Wednesday.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced the plans Wednesday during a visit to Iraq, the MoD said in a statement.
While in Iraq, Fallon reaffirmed Britain's intention to provide counter-improvised explosive device training to Iraqi forces as well as a contribution of advisory personnel as part of a future package of support to boost their ability to tackle the IS, also known as ISIL.
He also announced that Britain would be increasing its current training offer to the Kurds, to include infantry skills such as sharp-shooting and first aid, alongside the provision of further equipment.
"It is right that we do more to help Iraqi forces take the fight to ISIL on the ground which is why the UK is offering the further training, support and assistance I have outlined today," he said.
The British government remains clear that no ground combat troops will be deployed to Iraq, according to the MoD.
Britain is also preparing to increase the number of Reaper remotely piloted aircraft in the region to provide further intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to Iraqi forces to support coalition and national interests, the MoD added.
During the visit, Fallon held talks in Baghdad with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al-Obeidi.
He also visited trainers from the British armed forces who are instructing Peshmerga fighters on how to use the heavy machine guns gifted by Britain.
Britain is a member of a U.S.-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the extremist IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
[Source: Xinhua, London, 05Nov14]
War in Iraq
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