https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/14/defence-in-the-media-wednesday-14-february-2018/

Defence in the Media: Wednesday 14 February 2018

Today’s defence-related news includes coverage of potential false allegations against UK troops in Iraq, HMS Sutherland, the Counter-Daesh meeting in Rome, and an insight into UK troops conducting cold weather training in Estonia.

Fake claims against UK troops

The Sun reports that a former employee of law firm Leigh Day, Basim Al-Sadoon, has alleged that the firm would make false and exaggerated claims from fake paperwork in order to exploit as much money from the MOD as possible.

 A MOD spokesperson said:

 It’s totally wrong for people to exaggerate or make up allegations against our brave troops. This causes unnecessary distress for our soldiers and their families, and anyone responsible for false claims should be ashamed. Credible claims should be investigated, but false allegations make it harder for justice to be served.

 HMS Sutherland in the South China Sea

The Times, The Telegraph, The FT and The Mirror have all reported comments made by the Defence Secretary to The Australian newspaper, in which he said “[HMS Sutherland] will be sailing through the South China Sea”.

A MOD spokesperson said:

We are committed to asserting rights of freedom of navigation and overflight, as they are laid out by the United Nations. When UK aircraft and vessels transit through the South China Sea, they will do so in full compliance with international law and norms.

Couter-Daesh meeting in Rome

The Times and The Daily Record report that members of the Global Coalition met yesterday in Rome to discuss a number of issues regarding Islamic State, as well as the captured British members of IS known as the ‘Beatles’.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

The UK will not be complacent when it comes to terrorism – a point I reaffirm with my Global Coalition counterparts today. We pledge to continue to fight terrorists until their poisonous network is totally destroyed. Despite Daesh’s diminishing territory, it is hell-bent on directing and inspiring terrorist attacks worldwide – threatening our security at home and abroad. The threat they poise is evolving and intensifying but our resolve to defeat them will not fade.

UK troops in Estonia

Press Association (PA), The Scotsman, The Herald, and online outlets such as the Mail Online, ITV, The Daily Star and The Sun have reported on the 800 British troops in Estonia between 9th February and 12 February. Content includes the Royal Welsh conducting cold weather training, and features them training alongside Estonians and Danish personnel conducting drills such as Tactical Exercises, Force on Force, Advance to Contact, Recces, and Engineer Tasks.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

We live in a world where the threats and dangers we face to our way of life are constantly evolving and increasingly challenging. We have to be deeply committed to counter the intensifying aggression aimed at Britain and our allies from the Russian State. This threat is real and it is on our doorstep. We should not underestimate the damage Russia could do. What we see in Estonia is the United Kingdom taking the lead on the global stage and playing a crucial role in keeping us safe and protecting our national interests from those who wish to harm us.

Image of the day

HRH Prince Harry and his fiancee Ms Meghan Markle visited Edinburgh Garrison HQ, at Edinburgh Castle.