Singapore: More SAF troops to be deployed to Iraq in 2018

Singapore soldiers
Singapore soldiers Reuters

Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be sending the troops to Iraq later this year to train the Iraqi security forces to combat global terrorism.

Earlier in January 2018, Singapore President Halimah Yacob said during an event that the country might face ISIS terror threats in the future and soon after that SAF conducted a mobilisation and equipping exercise, called MOBEX, where almost 8,000 soldiers and 700 vehicles participated to carry out homeland security operations.

According to reports, SAF and Singapore Police Forces will conduct a joint training session to prepare the army soldiers for homeland terror threats.

Ng Eng Hen, Singapore Defence Minister, has confirmed the news through a speech during a debate on his ministry's spending plans in the House on Friday while stating that it will be helpful to involve in combat operations against terrorism.

He mentioned that considerable progress has been made when SAF troops were initially sent in 2004 to Iraq after the US left Iraq and Syria. The minister also said Singapore will maintain its commitment to counter-terrorism initiatives globally.

Iraqi security forces will be trained by SAF Counter-Terrorism Training Unit and Australian Defence Force, in using tactical methods of combat and to enhance their skills to understand the tactical-level weapons.

They will also collaborate with British Armed Forces to prepare them in countering improvised explosive devices.

An officer of SAF will lead the unit, which will include combat engineer trainers, who will be specialized in counter-improvised explosive devices, weapons. The team will also have combat tactics trainers, including a medical group of officers and a medic.

SAF has been contributing in the fight against ISIS for over four years by providing intelligence fusion officers, KC-135R tanker aircraft, imagery analysts, SAF liaison officers and medical teams.