LONDON (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom has increased its military presence in Iraq by deploying 44 additional Royal Engineers at the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq's western Anbar Province, UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Friday.
"We are stepping up our contribution to the fight against Daesh [banned in Russia] and fulfilling Britain’s role as a key player in the global coalition. Daesh is being defeated. Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, have now liberated 70% of the territory Daesh held and the victims of its barbarism are being helped by our humanitarian support. These extra troops will help support operations to bring the defeat of Daesh a step closer," Fallon said, as quoted by his office.
According to the statement, the additional troops will be deployed in Iraq for six months to build infrastructure, including accommodation and offices in the coalition camp. After their deployment, the overall number of UK servicemen at Al Asad Airbase now exceeded 300 people, while the total number of UK troops in Iraq has increased to 600 people.