NATO to help train Iraq's military?
Unsuccessful US airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) are causing a growing chorus of American officials to lobby for troops on the ground. But an exclusive report from Foreign Policy suggests that the Obama administration wants a reinforced Iraqi army to bear the main burden of taking the fight to ISIS. This would entail an enhanced training programme for the Iraqi military.
“The deployment is the first operational use of UK Reaper outside of support to our operations in Afghanistan, where we are beginning to withdraw the aircraft. As Reaper numbers in Afghanistan reduce, we intend to move more of them to the Middle East,” Fallon said. Britain already has eight Tornado jets, a Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft and an inflight refuelling aircraft operating in Iraq from an RAF base in Akrotiri, Cyprus. In Afghanistan the Reapers are based at Kandahar but the remotely piloted vehicles are flown operationally by crews sitting in RAF Waddington in the UK.