More reports on: Economy - general

UK deploys special forces in Iraq to strike at Islamic militants

09 August 2014

The UK has deployed special forces in Iraq to strike at ISIS militants who have swept through swaths of the country and are shelling the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday authorised ''targeted'' airstrikes on invading Islamic militants in northern Iraq to protect Americans and help Iraqi security forces to protect civilians under siege, threatening to revive US military involvement in the country's long sectarian war (See: US enters ''limited'' war in Iraq with ''targeted'' air strikes).

UK newspaper Daily Mirror reported plans for the deployment of British special forces in northern Iraq had been in the works for some weeks but they had only recently been sent.

Teams of special forces had been deployed to Iraq to help rescue refugees fleeing by the thousands to escape the murderous onslaught of Islamic State fighters.

Crack SAS and Special Boat Service operatives were helping locate non-Sunni Muslims who had escaped ISIS militants hell-bent on eliminating other muslim denominations.

US forces swung into action on Friday launching air strikes against IS positions - the first US air attacks on Iraq since the 2011 pull out.

Over 250,000 Kurds escaped to the top of a Kurdish mountain, in a bid to stay ahead IS forces who had already murdered thousands.

Following the news of the fresh militant atrocities, demands were made for the recall of British Parliament and the announcement that the UK military would be involved again in Iraq.

The UK's Department for International Development pledged 8million towards the air drops and for addressing the plight of the refugees.

The Daily Mirror quoted a military source as saying, the IS threat looked terrifying in all the video nasties and it might seem like they were taking over the whole of the Middle East.

Meanwhile UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, said yesterday that UK air operations to provide humanitarian help to the Yazidi community sheltering from extremists in northern Iraq would not extend to joining US air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) military positions, The Guardian reported.

However, he added the UK might provide technical assistance to US warplanes, including refuelling and surveillance, leaving the precise limits of UK military involvement open to question. There had been suggestions that the UK might provide bases for US aircraft.

Following a meeting of the cabinet's emergency Cobra committee, Fallon said UK welcomed what the Americans were doing to bring humanitarian relief, and to prevent any further suffering.

He added the UK government's focus was on assisting that humanitarian mission and using its military in support of the Americans in terms of refuelling and surveillance to underpin their mission and to add to it with food drops of its own.

He added, the government's focus was on assisting the Americans in this humanitarian effort, and that was what he reviewed with the prime minister this morning, and that was what he had asked to take decisions on at the emergency meeting this morning.

 search domain-b