Britain to double troops in Iraq

London, July 1 (IANS) Britain is set to double the number of its troops in Iraq in a bid to reassure its allies in the wake of the country’s exit from the European Union (EU).

About 250 military personnel will be deployed in Iraq to help fight against the Islamic State (IS) terror group. They will join around 300 soldiers already stationed there, who are helping train Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.

The personnel will comprise 90 soldiers to protect the base, 50 trainers, and 30 to set up a headquarters. About 80 engineers will work on infrastructure for six months.

Most of the soldiers will go to Al-Asad airbase in Anbar province.

Although the plans have been underway for weeks, the announcement came as the Ministry of Defence sought to reassure other EU nations that Britain would remain a key player.

Heavy machine guns and sniper rifle ammunition worth $1.86 million will also be handed over to Iraq.

British forces have also helped to train more than 18,000 members of the Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish forces.

–IANS

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