War with Isis: MoD to step up British military training missions in Middle East

Nearly 800 British troops work in support of moderate Syrian opposition

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The Independent Online

Britain is preparing to expand its military training mission in Iraq and increase the number of personnel helping ready the moderate Syrian opposition in Turkey, according to sources.

The Ministry of Defence says nearly 800 British soldiers are already working in training and support roles in the region at a time when Isis militants are making gains in both Iraq and Syria.

“The UK is preparing to offer more,” one source told Reuters, saying the Government was keen to step up its contribution. A final decision had not been taken and was not imminent, the source said, but the Army’s presence would soon be expanded.

British forces are already training Iraqi soldiers in, among other disciplines, how to deal with roadside bombs, while other British soldiers are taking part in US-led efforts to train the moderate Syrian opposition in Turkey.

When asked to confirm the expansion plans, a ministry spokesman said: “Nearly 800 UK personnel are deployed on operations in the region … and we will continue to keep our contribution under regular review.”