UK Commits Trainers, Aircraft to IS Fight

UK Commits Trainers, Aircraft to IS Fight

Britain has escalated its effort to combat Islamic State group militants with the announcement of plans to train Syrian opposition troops and ramp up the deployment of airborne battlefield intelligence assets.

The Ministry of Defence said that it was deploying 75 military trainers and headquarter staff in the next few weeks to train moderate opposition forces in small arms, infantry tactics and medical skills.

The training is part of a US-led program aimed at training and equipping Syrian opposition forces.

The training will be conducted in Turkey and other nations in the region that are members of the Anti-IS coalition, said the MoD in a statement.

The British military has already provided training and some pieces of light equipment to Kurdish and Iraq forces combating the Islamic State group.

The British defence secretary said in a statement that while coalition airstrikes have supported the liberation of Kobane and disrupted Islamic State group logistics and supply lines, “defeating IS ultimately lies with local forces and we are helping to create effective ground forces in Syria, as well as in Iraq, so they can take the fight to IS.”

The British also announced they were dispatching two Sentinel R1 battlefield surveillance to the region to boost intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over Syria and Iraq.

The jets will join Royal Air Force Tornado combat jets and armed Reaper remotely piloted aircraft in the region as part of the coalition airstrike campaign.

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