While British troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan, the head of the RAF has announced that troops are prepared to launch fresh strikes in the country, the Telegraph has found. The last UK troops left Kabul on Saturday, bringing the two decade military involvement to a close.
On Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that the UK is prepared to use “all means necessary” to combat IS following the concern the terror threat to the UK will increase.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, head of the RAF, told The Telegraph: “Ultimately, what this boils down to is that we’ve got to be able to play a global role in the global coalition to defeat Daesh [IS] – whether it’s strike or whether it’s moving troops or equipment into a particular country at scale and at speed.”
Sir Wigston is referring to the Islamic State and also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.
“If there’s an opportunity for us to contribute, I am in no doubt that we will be ready to,” he added.
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“The UK stands united with our coalition partners in mourning those killed by Daesh’s horrific attack at Kabul airport and in our unwavering collective resolve to combat Daesh networks by all means available, wherever they operate,” Mr Raab said.
Since August 14, more than 15,000 people have been evacuated by British troops.
According to Downing Street, 2,000 evacuees are children, with the youngest just a day old.
Around 5,000 UK nationals have been evacuated from Kabul along with 8,000 Afghans formerly employed by the UK and their families.
Those considered at risk from the Taliban were also evacuated.