Britain sending more troops to train Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State group

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LONDON — Five years after Britain ended its combat mission in Iraq, the Ministry of Defense says it is sending more troops to train Iraqi and Kurdish fighters battling IS militants.

Last month a small British military team went to Irbil in northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga forces. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Wednesday that Britain would be "putting in more training people to help at the training centers across the country, not just in the Kurdish areas."

He didn't reveal the number of troops involved.

The new deployment advances Britain's role in Iraq, which also includes airstrikes against the Islamic State group. The government says it will not send British combat troops. Some 179 British personnel died in Iraq between the U.S.-led 2003 invasion and the British withdrawal in 2009.

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