The Ministry of Defense has decided to redeploy some of its personnel back to the United Kingdom, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement, explaining that “in recent months the tempo of training has significantly declined, which means that I am in a position to bring back the current training unit to the UK.”
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a reduced requirement for training from the Iraqi Security Forces and a subsequent pause in the Coalition and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation training missions in Iraq.
There remains a significant footprint of UK Armed Forces within the coalition and elsewhere, he said, renewing commitment to building Iraq’s security capacity through UK’s membership of the Global Coalition that has “proved so effective and will continue to support the Iraqi Government in achieving stability.”
“While Daesh no longer holds any territory, its corrupt ideology persists as a threat to the country and region. The UK remains committed to the complete defeat of Daesh through our enduring support to the Government of Iraq and membership of the Global Coalition,” the Defense Secretary said in his statement.
The UK will retain key military personnel throughout the country to ensure the Iraqi Government, Global Coalition and UK national interests are appropriately supported, the statement added.
The Department of Defense announced earlier Thursday it was placing thousands of regular forces and reserves on standby to help British civilian authorities confront spread of coronavirus, which has so far killed 137 people with 2,692 infections.