Today’s Defence related news includes coverage of the liberation of Mosul, inaccurate reporting of Operation Northmoor, the Saudi Arabia Judicial Review, and a report on the development of long-range enemy missiles.
Liberation of Mosul:
There is widespread coverage, including the Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, The Scotsman, The Herald and The News (Portsmouth), on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s speech formally declaring victory over Daesh in Mosul following nine months of fighting.
BBC Radio 4 Today programme also reported on the achievement of the Iraqi forces, quoting the Defence Secretary’s statement welcoming the liberation of Mosul.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
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.
You can read more about the RAF’s air strikes in Iraq and Syria here.
The Scotsman has incorrectly reported that Operation Northmoor, the investigation into British Forces in Afghanistan, has shut down. Operation Northmoor is an independent Royal Military Police investigation and will continue until all credible allegations have been thoroughly investigated.
The independence of the Royal Military Police is enshrined in legislation (Armed Forces Act 2006). The Government is legally obliged, under both domestic and international law, to ensure that there is an independent and effective investigation of all credible allegations.
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.
Saudi Arabia Judicial Review
There is extensive coverage of the High Court ruling yesterday in favour of the Government on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, including reporting by The Times, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Independent, Daily Expressand The Herald.
A Government spokesperson said:
We welcome this judgment, which underscores the fact that the UK operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world.
We will continue to keep our defence exports under careful review to ensure they meet the rigorous standards of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.
You can read the High Court judgement here.
Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Report:
Following a report published today by RUSI, several media outlets comment on the force protection of Britain’s new aircraft carrier.
An MOD spokesperson said:
We keep all threats under constant review and we are confident our new aircraft carrier, and other state-of-the-art equipment, is well protected thanks to defensive systems we have invested in as part of our £178 billion equipment plan.
Our carrier strike group will be able to operate around the globe allowing Britain to pro-actively meet future threats and support operations in a range of theatres. It will be robustly protected by air and sea assets against threats known and unknown.