Britain to train Syrian opposition forces

Rebel fighters from the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement prepare their ammunition during what they said was an offensive to take the northwestern city of Idlib March 24, 2015. (Reuters)

Britain will send around 75 military personnel to join a U.S.-led program to train Syrian opposition forces, Defense Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday.The program will train and equip thousands of screened members of the opposition over the next three years to help them defend Syrian communities against ISIS militants before eventually leading offensives.

“ISIL must be defeated in both Iraq and Syria ... defeating ISIL ultimately lies with local forces and we are helping to create effective ground forces in Syria, as well as in Iraq, so they can take the fight to ISIL,” Fallon said in a statement, using another acronym for the militant group.

Fallon said the training, expected to begin in the next few weeks, would see British troops provide instruction in the use of small arms, infantry tactics and medical skills. It will take place in Turkey and other countries in the region which are part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State.

Britain will also be sending two Sentinel aircraft to the region to provide wider surveillance over Iraq.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44