Defence - Kurds (Written)

Joan Ryan MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department plans to take to support Kurdish forces fighting ISIL in the Syrian town of Kobane and the surrounding area.

Penny Mordaunt MP:  Within Iraq the UK has helped train over 1,500 Kurdish Peshmerga across a range of infantry, counter-Improvised Explosive Device, weapons maintenance and protection of civilian courses. UK air strikes have helped halt, hold and begin to roll-back ISIL, including in Kurdish areas. We have also gifted over 50 tonnes of equipment, 40 heavy machine guns, nearly half a million rounds of ammunition and delivered over 300 tonnes of weapons and ammunition on behalf of other coalition nations.

The coalition is helping counter-ISIL in Syria and coalition airstrikes have helped Kurdish forces liberate and then defend Kobane. The UK is not conducting any airstrikes in Syria but does have intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft periodically operating over Syria.

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