Iraq: Military Operations

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Rosie Duffield Rosie Duffield Labour, Canterbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason 1st Battalion Irish Guards have a continued presence at Fort Tagi in Iraq.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

UK troops are in Iraq, as part of the Coalition, in order to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh. This includes mitigating chances of a Daesh resurgence and developing the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces at the Taji Military Complex. At the invitation of the Government of Iraq, the UK has helped train over 110,000 Iraqi Security Forces personnel, including Kurdish Peshmerga.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a reduced requirement for training from the Iraqi Security Forces and a subsequent pause in the Coalition and NATO training missions in Iraq. We have therefore decided to redeploy some UK personnel back to the United Kingdom. We will retain key military personnel throughout the country to ensure the Iraqi Government, Global Coalition and UK national interests are appropriately supported. For the time being a contingent of essential UK personnel will remain in Taji Military Complex.

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