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Britain to send 125 troops to train Iraqis in fight against Islamic State

By Danielle Haynes
Britain to send 125 troops to train Iraqis in fight against Islamic State
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Sunday an additional 125 British troops would be sent to Iraq to help train forces there in the fight against the Islamic State. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

KRüN, Germany, June 7 (UPI) -- An additional 125 British troops are being deployed to Iraq to help train fighters there in the battle against the Islamic State, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday.

Cameron made the announcement while in Bavaria for the G7 summit.

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The extra troops bring Britain's presence in Iraq up to more than 275, the BBC reported. Most of the new personnel will help train Iraqi troops on countering explosive devices, the prime minister said. Twenty-five British troops will provide training in medical treatment, equipment maintenance, information operations, and bridging and crossing trenches.

"The C-IED [counter-IED] training targets a particular tactic used by [ISIS] terrorists who are well known for their intensive use of explosives when retreating. Upskilling the Iraqi security forces in this area will allow them to clear territory safely and return it to local people who have been displaced," a statement from Downing Street said.

The troop increase came about as a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama are scheduled to meet with al-Abadi while in Bavaria.

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IS -- also identified by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL -- is "the biggest threat" world leaders must address at the G7 summit, Cameron said.

"The biggest challenge that we face in terms of the effect on Britain and the challenge in the world is fighting extremist Islamist terror, particularly obviously in Iraq and Syria, but more broadly," Cameron said. "We're already the second largest contributor in terms of air strikes in Iraq."

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