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Iraq: Islamic State

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 86, tabled on 27 May 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support the UK is providing to the Iraqi government to counter Islamic State.

Answered on

2 June 2015

The UK is operating as part of a global coalition of over 60 countries - including Iraq, Arab nations, European partners and the US, to defeat ISIL. The UK is playing a leading role in the coalition, with around 800 personnel in the region helping to counter ISIL.

The UK have conducted the second highest number of strikes in Iraq, behind the US and is providing significant critical enablers in the form of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and air to air refuelling capabilities that few other nations possess. We are also providing eight Tornado GR4 Aircraft and a number of Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles contributing to precision strike and ISR.

Within the coalition's training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces, the UK is co-ordinating Coalition counter-IED (C-IED) training with a small planning team in Baghdad and some 30 military trainers based in Erbil. The UK has trained over 1,100 Iraqi forces in infantry skills and in the use of the UK-gifted heavy machine guns. As well as providing niche C-IED and Infantry Skills trainers, we have also trained 108 Peshmerga in our Protection of Civilians training course.