British troops to ‘train’ Iraqi forces for ISIS war

Iraqi Army personnel take part during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Jurf al-Sakhar October 27, 2014. Picture taken Oct. 27, 2014.

Iraqi Army personnel take part during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Jurf al-Sakhar October 27, 2014. Picture taken Oct. 27, 2014.

Britain is preparing to send troops to Iraq to train local security forces in their war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, The Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

The British newspaper reported that officers are set to join an American headquarters in Baghdad that has been established to train Iraqi forces, and that training teams could also be sent to the autonomous Kurdish region.

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report but said an announcement would be forthcoming.

Last month, the Ministry of Defense announced that a team of soldiers was training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to use heavy machine guns supplied by Britain.

Royal Air Force Tornado jets have also taken part in bombing raids in Iraq against ISIS, which has violently carved out large areas of control in Iraq and Syria and beheaded a series of Western hostages.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out sending ground troops into back into Iraq, wary of committing to a new conflict six months from a general election.

The last British forces left Iraq in 2011, eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein.

 
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