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08 Sep 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. In the period from 1 Jan 02 to 30 Jun 14, the RN/RM and the Army reported the loss in Afghanistan of 33 pistols and 27 rifles. Comparable figures for the RAF are not held by the MoD. (Written Answers (WA), 8 Sep 14.) The current security contract, in place since February 2010, with G4S in Afghanistan is worth some £120m and is due to end on 30 Jun 15. (WA, 8 Sep 14.)
The Foreign Secretary made a Statement to the House of Commons on Afghanistan, paying tribute to the 453 Service personnel who have lost their lives. Only about 4,000 personnel remain in Afghanistan and 70% of UK vehicles and equipment have been redeployed. The focus of the MoD’s assistance is now the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, where the UK is helped by Australia, Denmark, New Zealand and Norway. (Hansard, 9 Sep 14, Column 763 et seq.)
The number of Army Reservists mobilised in support of OP HERRICK between May 2006 and June 2014 were tabulated in a Written Answer [and reflected an average of 540 Reservists per deployment]. (WA, 10 Sep 14.)
Comment: NATO announced (10 Sep 14) that a Manfred W?rner Chair for International Security Studies has been established in Kabul University.
The UN Secretary-General expressed support (11 Sep 14) for a successful completion of the election process. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/36, 15 Sep 14)
08 Sep 14. Iraq: OP SHADER. A Foreign Office Minister said (8 Sep 14) that the Government will use “all the resources at our disposal to tackle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)”. The UK is providing practical support to the Kurdish Peshmerga as they fight ISIL: gifting them non-lethal military equipment and transporting ammunition from other countries. RAF aircraft are also carrying out surveillance work. France, Germany and Italy, as well as the UK, are supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Welcoming the formation of the Iraqi Government the Foreign Secretary said (9 Sep 14) “This is a critical first step on the way to addressing the serious security, political and humanitarian challenges facing Iraq”.
The Defence Secretary informed the House of Commons (9 Sep 14) that the UK is supplying heavy machine guns and ammunition to the Government of Iraq, for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The initial package arrived in Iraq on 10 Sep 14. The total cost is approximately £1.6m plus an estimated £475,000 in transport costs. The Foreign Secretary confirmed (10 Sep 14) the arrangements outlined by the Defence Secretary on the previous day. The Foreign Secretary left open the possibility of joining American-led air strikes. (Hansard, 10 Sep 14, Columns 917-919.)
Tornado GR4 equipped with Litening III reconnaissance pods have flown regular sorties over Northern Iraq in support of humanitarian air drops by Hercules C-130Js. (RAF News, 12 Sep 14.)
Comment: The MoD confirmed (9 Sep 14) that the RAF continued to transport military equipment and ammunition on behalf of other countries as well as providing UK non-lethal military equipment including body armour, helmets and ration packs. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/36, 15 Sep 14)
10 Sep 14. Syria: Chemical Weapons Concern. The Foreign Secretary said (10 Sep 14): “The findings of the latest OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) report corroborate allegations that the Assad regime is continuing to use chemical weapons in Syria, in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”.
A Foreign Office Minister said (11 Sep 14) that, as at 29 Aug 14, all of Syria’s declared chemical stockpile of
1,309.8 metric tonnes have been removed and thus put beyond the use of the regime. 1,254.8 metric tonnes (95.8%) had been de