London: Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon Saturday said hundreds of British troops will be sent to Iraq next year to help train local forces to fight against Islamic State(IS).
Fallon told in an interview with The Telegraph that "very low hundreds" of British troops will be deployed to Iraq to training Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight against IS militants in January, Xinhua reported.
The report said a small "force protection" deployment of combat-ready soldier will also be sent to those areas to protect military training teams.
The secretary revealed the teams will be located at four centers in Iraq, including one in the Kurdish region and three others close to Baghdad.
Details of the new deployment have not been disclosed yet. The Telegraph said there are 50 British troops inside Iraq training local forces currently.
The report said the "the new mission represents the first significant deployment of ground force since the last British troops withdrew from Iraq three years ago," and "marks a new stage in Britain's involvement in the fight against jihadists in Iraq and Syria."
"Our role now, apart from the air strikes, is increasingly going to be on training," said the secretary, adding the training would include dealing with car and truck bombs, roadside devices and basic infantry skills, which British troops have learnt from the experiences in Afghanistan.