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  • British troops march in this archive photo from October 27, 2014.

    British troops march in this archive photo from October 27, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 December 2014

Defense Minister claims troops will only train Iraqi and Kurdish troops.

Britain will send hundreds of troops to Iraq, shortly after U.S President Obama authorized the deployment of over 3,000 troops to the country.

U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Saturday that British troops will be there to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces in their fight against the Islamic State group.

Fallon said troops in the “very low hundreds” would be sent next month but that the exact number of to be sent had not been finalized.

According the Defense Minister the increased troop presence is required in response to a change in methods by the Islamic State.

Fallon added that they have moved away from use of large formations in open space in response to air strikes by U.S.-led forces. “They are increasingly tucked away in towns and villages. That means they have got to be rooted out by ground troops,” said Fallon.

The Defense Minister suggested that the troops would not be engaged in combat, that the Islamic State group has to be fought “an own-grown army, not by western groups.”

On Saturday, Islamic State fighters killed at least 19 policemen in a town in Western Iraq, as the group continues to seize territory in the region, despite aerial strikes.
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