British PM May meets soldiers during sruprise visit in Iraq

Updated: 09:56 GMT, Nov 30, 2017 | Published: 07:26 GMT, Nov 30, 2017 |

British Prime Minister Theresa May met British and Iraqi troops on Wednesday (November 29), as she made the first visit by a British prime minister to Iraq since 2008.

The British government said in September that there were around 600 British soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and they are helping to train local forces in their fight against Islamic State.

They are primarily involved in working with infantry, engineering and combat medical techniques, as well as providing courses on countering improvised explosive devices and other skills.

Britain has provided over 1,400 military personnel as part of its three-year involvement in the U.S.-led global coalition against Islamic State.

May said that the global fight against Islamic State was continuing and that Britain would do all it could do counter the threat.

She added she was concerned by the growing aid crisis in Yemen, and that the port of Hodeida – through which humanitarian supplies can be delivered to those who need them – should be reopened, and she would be putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to make that happen.

The Saudis are backing government forces in Yemen, who are fighting a Houthi uprising, and are currently blockading a number of ports in the country.

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