Today's defence-related news includes the Battle for Mosul, lateral recruitment in the Army and reporting on historic allegations in Afghanistan.
Battle for Mosul
Alongside widespread broadcast coverage, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, The Times, The Guardian, The Scotsman, Financial Times, Daily Mail and The Independent all report on the situation in Mosul after nine months of fighting, with news emerging of the fall of the city.
However the Daily Mirror reports that there is more to do in Mosul and it is widely noted this morning that the Iraqi Prime Minister has not formally declared victory, including on the front page of the Financial Times and the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme.
The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon released a statement welcoming the update:
I congratulate Prime Minister Abadi, and the Iraqi forces who have been fighting on the ground with great bravery and care against a brutal opponent. Daesh has total disregard for innocent civilian life and we should welcome their defeat in a city that was ground zero for their so-called caliphate.
Britain has played a leading role in the Coalition that has helped bring about the removal of the death cult from Mosul.
The RAF has struck more than 750 targets as part of the campaign to liberate Mosul - second only to the United States. While these pin point strikes have brought an end to Daesh in the city, there is still more to do. This barbaric group remains dug in west of the Euphrates and clearing operations in and around Mosul will be needed because of the threat from improvised explosive devices.
Lateral Recruitment in the Army
News stories in The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Telegraph report that the Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter has said that specialist civilians will be fast-tracked into senior Army positions “in a year or two” under proposals being considered in the Army. The proposals would “overturn generations of tradition” according to the Telegraph and are designed to make up for shortfalls in high-tech skills. The coverage follows an interview the Chief of the General Staff conducted in Estonia.
Historic allegations in Afghanistan
There is further reporting on the Royal Military Police's Operation Northmoor investigation into allegations of criminal behaviour by the Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Articles appeared in The Daily Mail and The Sun, following up on coverage in Sunday’s papers.
An MOD spokesperson said:
Our military served with great courage and professionalism and we proudly hold them to the highest standards. Where credible allegations are raised it is right they are effectively investigated by an independent police force like the Royal Military Police. They have found no evidence of criminal behaviour by the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, have discontinued over 90% of the 675 allegations made and less than 10 investigations now remain.
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