Britain sends more troops to Iraq as battle against IS continues

Britain will send dozens of more forces to Iraq as the threat of the Islamic State (IS) continues to shrink in the country.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Britain will send dozens of more forces to Iraq as the threat of the Islamic State (IS) continues to shrink in the country, said a British official.

British Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon confirmed that some 44 Royal Engineers are being sent to the Ain al-Assad air base in the province of Anbar, western Iraq.

With dozens of more troops, the number of British soldiers at the camp exceeds 300 with about 600 personnel in total in Iraq.

The decision comes at a time Iraqi forces continue to defeat IS in the north of the country. The forces liberated Mosul in July, and recently retook the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul.

The British troops are from the 5 Armored Engineer Squadron and 22 Engineer Regiment who are armed to be deployed for six months in Iraq to build infrastructure, including offices and accommodations at the coalition forces camps.

“We are stepping up our contribution in the fight against [IS] and fulfilling Britain’s role as a key player in the global coalition,” Fallon said, adding the militant group was “being defeated.”.

“Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, have now liberated 70 percent of the territory [IS] held and the victims of its barbarism are being helped by our humanitarian support,” he continued.

“These extra troops will help support operations to bring the defeat of [IS] a step closer,” Fallon added.

About 120,000 British soldiers and civilians have served in the country following the 2003 US-led operation in Iraq.

The UK’s combat role ended in 2009 with nearly 179 British troops killed in Iraq during the operation.

The coalition forces, mainly British soldiers, have used the base to train and consult Iraqi troops in the battle against IS.

After the liberation of Nineveh Province and Mosul, the self-proclaimed capital of IS, Iraqi forces are preparing to launch another military operation against the militant group in al-Qaim on the Syrian border and Hawija city in the north of the country.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany