north

British soldiers are training peshmerga forces in Iraq, says MoD | UK …

British soldiers are in Iraq and working close to the frontline of the fight between the Islamic State (Isis) and Kurdish fighters, the Ministry of Defence has said.

A small specialist team is based near the Kurdish capital of Irbil in northern Iraq after their deployment was approved by the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, a spokeswoman confirmed.

They are in the war-torn region training peshmerga forces in the use of heavy machine guns that the UK supplied to them in September.

he Sunday Times reported that the soldiers were from the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, which is based in Cyprus.

The spokeswoman said: The government has previously made clear its intention to provide training to the peshmerga as part of the continued effort to assist in the fight against Isil (Isis).

The defence secretary has approved the deployment of a small specialist team of non-combat army trainers, which is now in the Irbil area providing instruction on operating, employing and maintaining the heavy machine guns that were gifted by the UK last month.

British troops invaded Iraq in March 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

he last combat troops with Operation Telic, as it was called, left in April 2009, with a small number staying on to train the Iraqi armed forces until 2011.

News story: British High Commissioner Concludes Visit to the North

News article

British High Commissioner Concludes Visit to the North

From:
British High Commission Colombo1

History:

Updated 8 September 2014, see all updates

Two videos embeded
8 September 2014 10:34am
First published.

5 September 2014 2:59pm

Part of:

Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka2 and Sri Lanka3

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H E John Rankin, made a three-day visit to the Northern Province (Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya) on 1-3 September, 2014.

British High Commissioner with students from the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School
British High Commissioner with students from the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School

The High Commissioner met government and military officials, members of political parties, the police, the British Council, humanitarian organisations and resettled communities.

Commenting on the visit, the British High Commissioner said:

I was pleased to visit the North again to see for myself the current situation on the ground, the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. I was also happy to meet those involved in addressing concerns and restoring normality to the region. In my discussions, it was clear that the region is moving forward from its difficult past, but some concerns remain.

I visited the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School which I last visited three years ago, and was delighted to see the new buildings being used by their talented students.

In Jaffna I met Dr Ravi Pillai, a dual Sri Lankan British National, who is conducting life saving heart surgery in the North for the first time.

I also met several recently resettled families in Puthukkudiyiruppu.

They spoke frankly about the issues their communities face including a lack of housing and employment.

I strongly hope that these communities can live their lives free from reprisals and are able to have their voices heard.

The Northern Province is one of the most fascinating places in Sri Lanka, as it rebuilds and rejuvenates itself from its legacy of war. It is encouraging to see firsthand the progress made in areas such as demining and resettlement and I welcome the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government in these areas. I also urge the government to continue taking further steps to improve the livelihoods of the people of the Northern Province, address their concerns and allow them to move forward into a brighter future in a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka.

The UK will continue to support these efforts.

Jaffna visit of the British High Commisisoner in Sri Lanka4

The High Commissioner visited the offices of the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna; a demining site operated by The HALO Trust in Muhamalai, supported by the British government; the Oxonian Heart Foundation run by Dr Ravi Pillai at the North Central Hospital, a Sri Lankan British National; the MAS Active factory in Kilinochchi; and the British High Commission funded community Policing project at the Puthukkudiyiruppu police station. He also met Maj. Gen.

Boniface Perera, Commander of the Security Forces in the Vanni; TNA MP, Sivashakthi Andandan; Mr N.

Vethanayagma, Government Agent of Mullaitivu; and Mrs Mohanathan, Additional Government Agent of Vavuniya.

Jaffna visit – follow-up video by the British High Commissioner5

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Published:
5 September 2014
Updated:
8 September 2014

+ full page history

8 September 2014 10:34am
Two videos embeded
5 September 2014 2:59pm
First published.
From:
British High Commission Colombo8

Part of:
Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka9
Sri Lanka10

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References

  1. ^ British High Commission Colombo (www.gov.uk)
  2. ^ Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  3. ^ Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  4. ^ Jaffna visit of the British High Commisisoner in Sri Lanka (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ Jaffna visit – follow-up video by the British High Commissioner (www.youtube.com)
  6. ^ Share on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ Share on Twitter (twitter.com)
  8. ^ British High Commission Colombo (www.gov.uk)
  9. ^ Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)

Press release: FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

Press release

FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

  • English
  • 1
From:

Foreign & Commonwealth Office2 and Tobias Ellwood MP3

History:
Published 26 August 2014

Part of:

Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa4, Defence and armed forces5, Foreign affairs6, International aid and development7, National security8 and Iraq9

Tobias Ellwood condemns attacks across Iraq that killed over 50 people and calls for inclusive government to fight terrorism

placeholder

Reacting to news that over 50 people had been killed in attacks across Iraq yesterday, including an attack on a Shia Mosque, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

The United Kingdom condemns the attacks that took place across Iraq yesterday.

My condolences go out to the families of those involved.

The attacks targeting worshippers in a Shia Mosque in Baghdad were particularly disturbing.

These attacks, clearly designed to incite violence and create sectarian division, have no place in the future of Iraq.

It is vital that all Iraqis unite together to confront the serious threat Iraq faces from terrorism.

The United Kingdom continues to fully support the Iraqi government in its efforts to combat terrorism and bring those responsible for these terrible crimes to justice.

I again urge all of Iraq s political leaders to work together to urgently form a new inclusive, national unity government.

Further information

Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood on twitter @TobiasEllwoodMP10

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice11

Follow the Foreign Office on facebook and Google+1213

Media enquiries

Email
[email protected]14

News Desk
020 7008 3100

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Published:
26 August 2014
From:
Foreign & Commonwealth Office17
Tobias Ellwood MP18

Part of:
Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa19
Iraq20

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  1. ^ (www.gov.uk)
  2. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.gov.uk)
  3. ^ Tobias Ellwood MP (www.gov.uk)
  4. ^ Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa (www.gov.uk)
  5. ^ Defence and armed forces (www.gov.uk)
  6. ^ Foreign affairs (www.gov.uk)
  7. ^ International aid and development (www.gov.uk)
  8. ^ National security (www.gov.uk)
  9. ^ Iraq (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ @TobiasEllwoodMP (twitter.com)
  11. ^ @foreignoffice (twitter.com)
  12. ^ facebook (www.facebook.com)
  13. ^ Google+ (plus.google.com)
  14. ^ [email protected] (www.gov.uk)
  15. ^ Share on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  16. ^ Share on Twitter (twitter.com)
  17. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.gov.uk)
  18. ^ Tobias Ellwood MP (www.gov.uk)
  19. ^ Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa (www.gov.uk)
  20. ^ Iraq (www.gov.uk)

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