The Ministry of Defense to has sent a small specialist team too work near the front lines aiding in the battle between the IS militants and the Kurdish fighters. The soldiers are from the second battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment based out of Cyprus. They are presently based near Irbil, and are training the Peshmerga forces in the heavy machinery supplied by the UK.
According to a Ministry of Defense representative, “The Government has previously made clear its intention to provide training to the Peshmerga as part of the continued effort to assist in the fight against Isil (IS).”
“The Defense Secretary has approved the deployment of a small specialist team of non-combat Army trainers which is now in the Irbil area providing instruction on operating, employing and maintaining the heavy machine guns that were gifted by the UK last month”, she went on to say.
Notably, Britain gifted £1.6 billion of arms including heavy machinery and a half of a million worth of ammunition to the Kurdish forces fighting the IS militants. Kurdish troops have also confirmed that the British SAS troops are helping them to help drive away the IS jihadist from their strongholds.
It is to be noted that the last British troop which was sent to support the Iraq forces during the capture of former president Saddam Hussain, left in April 2009. That being said, a small number of the troops did stay behind to train the Iraqi forces till 2011.
For the past two weeks, the British RAF Tornados have struck several bases of the IS militants. However, according to several confirmed sources, the Turkish President is not happy with the air attacks led by the US coalition force. He has stated publicly (along with Idris Nassan) that the air strikes have failed to have an effect on the IS militants.
Kobane official Idris Nassan was found saying that “the supply of fighters is very good”. “But fighters coming without arms, without weaponry, is not going to make a critical difference,” he added.
The war, which has been going on since September 16, has claimed the lives of 553 people in a span of 30 days. The total death toll is now over 1000 people in the past couple of months.