Stories of defence interest today include a report on BBC Breakfast on the battle for Mosul, looking at the plight of civilians living there who are at risk of starving because of a lack of food, and further reporting of UK training to Iraqi Armed Forces, as well as increased UK-Germany defence cooperation.
UK/ GERMANY DEFENCE DEAL
An MOD Spokesperson said:
As part of our leading role in European security, we’re stepping up bilateral defence cooperation with our European partners and Allies. Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015 upgraded our defence relationship with Germany, and as part of this we are working on a joint vision statement on future cooperation.
ARMED FORCES HOUSING
The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, and The Times report on a Centre for Social Justice report on accommodation.
An MOD Spokesperson said:
Our plan is for a housing offer that suits 21st century families offering them greater flexibility. We have been consulting with Personnel and their families with over half saying the proposals are more attractive, but no final decisions have been made. We are investing over £4bn to create a better defence estate and will continue to provide £450m to help personnel keep rent low.
BRITISH ARMY TRAINING IRAQI FORCES
The Scotsman reports that Lieutenant-Colonel Rob Singleton, commanding officer of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment has said that Iraqi and Kurdish fighters being trained by UK forces will ‘absolutely’ beat Daesh. The report adds that that more than 500 British soldiers are currently deployed across Iraq.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rob Singleton said:
In Mosul at the moment they are making real progress, and whilst we are not fighting we have got an indirect approach. It is our job to train the Iraqis and the Kurds so that they are able to do their job in Mosul - and it appears to me that they are doing it really well, they are very brave, and they have been fighting for a while now. I think that they are absolutely going to beat Daesh and it is to their credit.
Lt Col Singleton said the Kurds and Iraqis are confident the fight against Daesh is one they can win, and that it is the job of his battalion to make sure they have the right skill set to do it.
I think my training teams are genuinely first class and so they are held in really high regard by both the coalition and Kurdish and Iraqi security forces. When they deliver those periods of instruction, it is the best it gets and the Iraqis and Kurds know that and they know that it will keep them safe in Mosul and beyond.
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