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British Defense Secretary Says Deployments To Iraq May Rise

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has been quoted by a British newspaper as saying that his country is likely to increase the number of its forces in Iraq to "the very low hundreds."

Speaking in an interview published by "The Daily Telegraph" on December 13, Fallon said the deployment of British troops would be training Iraqi government troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who are battling Islamic State militants.

He also said the British trainers were set to be joined by a small "force protection" deployment that will defend them.

Fallon said the British government has not yet finalized the number of its troops that would be deployed for the mission.

Britain currently has about 50 soldiers on the ground in Iraq who are training Iraqi and Kurdish security forces.

Based on reporting by "The Daily Telegraph," AFP, and Reuters