Britain not to send ground troops to Iraq

Washington, Dec 12 (IANS) British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Britain would not send ground troops to Iraq.

Fallon said that the Iraqi leadership had made clear to him that “Western boots on the ground” were not wanted in Iraq.

“We’re not proposing to send combat troops back into Iraq or into Syria,” Xinhua quoted Fallon as saying in a joint press conference with US Defence Secretary Ash Carter.

Fallon added that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had told him explicitly that the Iraqis did not want British troops on the ground there.

“With great respect, they (also) don’t want to see American troops there,” said Fallon.

“They realise that security has to be achieved in areas that have been liberated from IS (Daesh) by home-grown forces that can enjoy the support and confidence of the Sunni areas.”

IS currently holds vast territories in both Iraq and Syria.

Britain’s house of Commons on December 2 voted to support a government motion on extending British airstrikes against the IS in Syria.

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