I have today laid before the House a departmental minute describing a package of surplus counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) equipment, comprising 1,000 surplus Vallon counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) metal detectors, which the UK intends to gift to Iraq. Iraq is currently facing a severe threat from IED attacks: the number, scale and lethality of which has increased in recent months.
Additionally, the UK will act as the coalition lead for the planning and co-ordination of all aspects of the C-IED training package for the Iraqi security forces and also deploy a team to Erbil to provide training. The gifting package will complement that programme.
This gifting is part of the UK’s contribution to the international coalition to degrade and defeat ISIL. The training team will add to the 560 UK military personnel in the region supporting coalition efforts and building on earlier packages through which the UK has gifted weapons and trained 1,000 Iraqi security forces in how to use them. This is alongside the continued significant UK contribution to coalition air strikes, of which the UK has carried out the second highest to date.
Subject to completion of the departmental minute process, gifting is expected to begin next month.