https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/01/16/defence-in-the-media-16-january-2017/

Defence in the Media: 16 January 2017

Of note for Defence today is news from the Defence Secretary that two million people have been freed from Daesh in 2016.

Daesh

The Telegraph, The Times and The Sun all report that Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will today tell MPs that two million people have been freed from Daesh in 2016 with the help of the British Armed Forces. Reporting reflects that RAF aircraft are mounting air strikes at the highest rate since the first Gulf war and that more than 1,300 British airmen, soldiers and sailors are now deployed on Operation Shader.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

In the last year, over two million people have been freed from Daesh rule by Iraqi and moderate Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by Coalition air power.  Britain is stepping up in the fight against Daesh: the Army has helped trained over 32,000 Iraqi forces and in a controlled and precise manner the RAF are taking out Daesh and working hard to minimise casualties in a very difficult dense urban environment.

Working with Allies we will keep momentum, push Daesh out of Mosul, encircle Raqqa and eventually end Daesh’s reign of terror.

Russia

The Telegraph reports that First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones has discussed the threat from Russian submarines and warships in a New Year message to personnel. The paper says the warning comes as British warships prepare to escort the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov past the UK as it returns from its bombing campaign against Syrian rebels.

An MOD spokesperson said:

We are investing billions in growing the Royal Navy for the first time in a generation with new aircraft carriers, submarines, frigates, patrol vessels and aircraft all on their way.  2017 is the start of a new era of maritime power, projecting Britain’s influence globally and delivering security at home.

Mosul

The Telegraph and Wall Street Journal report that Iraqi forces have ousted Daesh militants from the Mosul University campus as they come close to reclaiming the entire eastern half of Mosul.

Armed Forces

The Daily Star follows up reporting from the weekend, which incorrectly claimed that taxpayers are being forced to pay for soldiers living in budget hotels and sleeping on sofas owing to a lack of available accommodation.

An MOD spokesperson said:

Our brave armed forces should get housing of the standard they deserve.  If our contractor is unable to find that immediately, they provide substitute accommodation which they - not the taxpayer - pay for directly.

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