The new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that the RAF will continue operations against IS militants for “a considerable time more”.
Williamson said Operation Shader has seen “amazing progress” against the extremists. But speaking in the Commons, Conservative MP and former Army officer Bob Stewart questioned how long Operation Shader will last given that “apparently Daesh is almost defeated”.
“While we have made such amazing progress with over 1,600 operations flown by the RAF over Iraq and Syria, we shouldn’t actually think as the territory is denied to Daesh that actually they are defeated because what they’ll do is disperse.”
Operation Shader is the operational code name given to the contribution of the United Kingdom in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Daesh have suffered major defeats in Iraq & Syria. @RoyalAirForce continue to fly missions to identify remaining terrorist locations & support clearance operations on the ground by Iraqi troops & the Syrian Democratic Forces. #DefeatingDaesh pic.twitter.com/6KIh5ZQ0fh
— British Embassy Washington (@UKinUSA) November 28, 2017
The RAF has conducted more than 1,500 strikes against Islamic State targets and the British military has helped train nearly 60,000 Iraqi Security Forces so far.
Around 1,400 British personnel have been deployed over the last three years.