https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/20/defence-in-the-media-20-september-2017/

Defence in the Media: 20 September 2017

News of potential medals for the campaign against Daesh features prominently in the media today, following the Defence Secretary's visit to the Middle East.

MEDALS FOR COUNTER-DAESH CAMPAIGN

Outlets including Sky News, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail report that the Defence Secretary has spoken about the prospect of military personnel battling Daesh being honoured with medals for their part in Op Shader.

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said:

It is only right that those who’ve performed above and beyond in this fight against the evil of our time get the recognition they deserve. This medal will do just that. Our troops have made huge contributions to the fight against Daesh, helping end its tyranny in large parts of Iraq and Syria. They have conducted over 1,500 strikes against Daesh terrorist targets and helped train nearly 60,000 Iraqi Security Forces. The campaign is not over but for those that have served we rightly honour the critical role they have played in helping keep us safe.

The Daily Mail and The Sun also focus on previously unreleased footage of a Daesh sniper in Syria, and a wider story about RAF strikes and intelligence preventing a number of attacks on the UK over the last few weeks. Both outlets include comments from Air Commodore Johnny Stringer, commander of all UK operations in Iraq and Syria, who praised the actions of RAF personnel.

DISASTER RELIEF CONTINUES

The Times, The Guardian and Daily Mail, amongst others, all continue to report that more than 1300 British troops have been deployed in the region and that it is feared Hurricane Maria will strike the British Virgin Islands. Buzzfeed and the Victoria Derbyshire Show have interviewed Brigadier John Ridge, who has outlined details of the aid that has been delivered, the work of the Royal Marines and the role of HMS Ocean which is set to arrive in the region on Friday.

BURMESE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

The likes of the  The IndependentThe Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express report that the MOD has decided to suspend its educational training programme for the Burmese military, following the ongoing violence in Burma's Rakhine state.

A UK Government spokesperson said:
In light of the ongoing violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, the growing humanitarian crisis it has caused, and our deep concern about the human rights abuses that are taking place, we have decided to suspend the educational courses provided to the Burmese military until there is an acceptable resolution to the current situation. We call on the Burmese Armed Forces to take immediate steps to stop the violence in Rakhine and ensure the protection of all civilians, to allow full access for humanitarian aid and to facilitate the civilian government’s implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations in full.
NATIONAL SECURITY CAPABILITY REVIEW
The Times speculates on potential outcomes of the National Security Capability Review.

An MOD spokesperson said:

In the face of ever-changing threats, we are contributing to the cross-government review of national security capabilities and looking at how we best spend our rising defence budget to support that.

IMAGE OF THE DAY

The Defence Secretary addresses troops. Crown copyright.
The Defence Secretary addresses troops. Crown copyright.

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