More British Soldiers for Afghanistan
The British Army Will Send 440 More Soldiers to Afghanistan on Op TORAL
The soldiers will come from the Welsh Guards, taking the total number of British military personnel deployed in Afghanistan to 1,100. This is the third increase in troop numbers since the British Army ended combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014.
British Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels, saying:
The alliance can rely on the UK to lead by example, not just in meeting the 2% pledge but by contributing our cutting-edge capabilities to operations around the world. In committing additional troops to the Train Advise Assist operation in Afghanistan we have underlined once again that when NATO calls the UK is among the first to answer.
The extra soldiers will deploy in two phases, the first in August this year, the second in February 2019. The Welsh Guardsmen will take a non-combat role, providing security and training in Kabul and the surrounding area.
The British troop increase comes at a time when Afghan forces are seen to be failing in their mission to defeat the Taliban on their own. Afghan elections in October are expected to see an increase in terrorist activity.
Image: During Operation Panchai Palang, soldiers of 7 Platoon, 2 Company, 1 Welsh Guards, (7 Plt, 2 Coy, 1WG), together with men of the Mortar Platoon respond to enemy fire as they occupy a compound near Checkpoint Yellow 7 on the Shamalan Canal in Helmand, Afghanistan, during Op HERRICK in 2009. Photograph by Cpl Dan Bardsley RL (Crown Copyright, 2009).