UK Officials Say British Role in Fighting ISIL is ‘Strikingly Modest’

© Flickr / rosarito_82UK House of Parliament
UK House of Parliament - Sputnik International
British lawmakers are concerned that Britain is not doing enough in the fight against the Islamic State and point out that UK should step up and contribute more trainers, funds and material to Iraq's security forces.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The role the United Kingdom has in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group is "strikingly modest," a report by a committee of British lawmakers published Thursday says.

"Since the September 2014 vote of the House of Commons in favour of military air strikes in Iraq, the UK actions have remained strikingly modest," the Defence Select Committee said in the report. "We see no evidence of an energised policy debate, reviewing or arguing options for deeper engagement."

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According to the report, Britain's participation in the fight against the IS amounts to conducting less than one airstrike daily in Iraq on average, supplying "a few" weapons and some non-lethal equipment to Kurdish forces and sending some 48 trainers to work there on two to three month rotations.

"We are surprised and deeply concerned that the UK is not doing more," the report said.

The report pointed out that Britain could contribute more by immediately meeting Iraq's request for UK trainers in counter-improvised explosive device measures, contributing to the development of the Iraqi mission and its tactics and by providing more funds and materiel to Iraq's security forces.

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The Islamic State took control of a large number of areas in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and was behind acts of brutality, including the beheadings of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

The United Kingdom is one of more than 60 countries involved in the US-led anti-IS coalition carrying out airstrikes against the positions of the jihadists.

Apart from conducting airstrikes, United Kingdom personnel are teaching infantry tactics and first aid skills to volunteers from Kurdish forces fighting IS militants on the ground.

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