, LONDON, United Kingdom, March 12 – Britain said Saturday it was sending more troops to Iraq to bolster its mission training up the armed forces taking on the Islamic State jihadist group.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said a further 30 troops would be deployed to provide training in logistics and bridge-building, as well as specialist medical staff.
The move would take the total number of British personnel on training missions inside Iraq to 300.
The additional troops are expected to be deployed to training camps at Bismayah and Taji outside Baghdad.
Fallon said “solid progress” has been made in the fight against IS, also known as Daesh, which rules large parts of Syria and Iraq under its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
“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,” he said.
“Along with the trebling of UK air strikes, this underlines the crucial role our armed forces are playing in the fight against Daesh.”
British jets have been striking IS targets in Iraq and Syria.
On Wednesday, British Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted four attacks in northern and western Iraq.
The day after they carried out five attacks in the same area, destroying a weapons cache and several IS fighting positions, the ministry of defence said.