By Euro Weekly News Media • 19 March 2020 • 17:29
Iraq – The UK has been training Iraqi forces as part of a US-led coalition mission since 2014, but this has been on hold for the last 60 days due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Defence says, as a result of COVID-19, there has been a reduced requirement for the training, with the Defence Secretary stating the “tempo of training has significantly declined”.
A number of British military personnel are leaving Iraq to redeploy back to the UK.
Key British military personnel will remain throughout Iraq, however.
Troops returning to the UK will remain at readiness for different potential deployments.
The rest of the US-led coalition’s training mission in Iraq has been suspended due to coronavirus fears.
The Ministry of Defence says personnel redeploying back to the UK will have the “opportunity to support loved ones” affected by coronavirus.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “In recent months the tempo of training has significantly declined, which means that I am in a position to bring back the current training unit to the UK.
“There remains a significant footprint of UK Armed Forces within the coalition and elsewhere.
“We are committed to building Iraq’s security capacity through our membership of the Global Coalition that has proved so effective and will continue to support the Iraqi Government in achieving stability.”
Around 400 UK military personnel are currently stationed in Iraq across several sites.
It hasn’t been stated whether returning troops will be sent to defend and support British towns and cities in the wake of a possible nationwide lockdown.
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