UK troops sent to train anti-Isis rebels ‘have arrived in Syria’


From The Guardian:

“The British defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, is to announce that UK forces have arrived in the Middle East to help train moderate Syrian rebels engaged in the fight against Islamic State. Fallon is hosting a conference in London of defence ministers from the 67-member US-led coalition against Isis, and the defence secretary is keen to talk up the British contribution.

The conference is being held to discuss the next phase of the campaign against Isis as the group is squeezed in its Syrian headquarters in Raqqa and in its Iraqi headquarters in Mosul.

At a similar conference in Paris in October, Fallon announced that the UK would send about 20 trainers to help Syrian moderates with basic infantry skills, frontline medical treatment and identification of hidden explosive devices. His announcement on Thursday confirmed of their arrival.

In a statement before today’s meeting the defence secretary said: “Daesh [the government’s name for Isis] is being taken on in eastern Mosul. Last week we opened up a second front around Raqqa. Daesh is losing ground, finance and fighters … In 2017, we must maintain momentum to deal these terrorists a decisive blow.”


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