British army commanders say a ground offensive using infantry, armour, tanks, air support and special forces could wipe out the Islamic State in less than three weeks.
Following the Paris attacks over a week ago, senior generals are saying that the defeat of the so called Islamic State is a question of decisive action and implementation. They have told Prime minister David Cameron that a full scale ground offensive in Syria could bring a decisive victory over the so called Islamic State caliphate, ridding the world of an evil cult.
The Sunday Express reports:
Military commanders are also urging greater use of British officers to train local Kurdish fighters and have a firmer hand in tactics.
It is part of a raft of advice being given to David Cameron by both military and foreign office mandarins as he prepares for next week’s “full spectrum” report of British options to rid the world of the evil death cult.
It comes as a Sunday Express online poll of 30,000 people revealed that 82 per cent supported tougher military action in Syria, with 25 per cent advocating RAF air strikes and more than one in two, 56 per cent, favouring Britain’s military engaged in a full blown ground war to smash the so-called Islamic State’s caliphate.
IS’ land grabs in Iraq and Syria has given its fighting forces an arsenal which includes Russian-made T-62 and T-55 main battle tanks, artillery and even helicopter gunships.
Recent reports have revealed that former Iraqi pilots are even teaching Jihadis to fly Russian Mig-22 fighter jets, though the general quality of training is not thought to be good.
However, a 2003-style operation of coalition troops, consisting of armour, infantry and air support working together, would cut through this in a fortnight.
The Government has little appetite to commit British forces in a ground offensive, with sources confirming: “the preference is to help train and support local forces who have had some recent success in retaking Sinjar.”
But last night it emerged senior generals are preparing for the possibility.
“Discussions are now under way here towards the deployment of troops,” said one UN security expert last night, adding that it would have been easier if action had been taken 15 months ago.
Last night General Lord Dannatt, the former head of British Army, said the war against IS would not be won by air power alone, and that more training of local Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Jordanian troops and even Syrian refugees would have to be tried before doing the “unthinkable”.
“What we should be doing is to send out big training teams” he said.
“The unthinkable, if we still haven’t succeeded, is to use coalition combat troops.”
He told the Sunday Express that, were he still Chief of the General Staff today, he would give local forces six months to beat IS before advising Downing Street that it was time to start training British troops.
“I am very cognizant of the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan where our presence, intended to be part of the solution, was turned around upon us and we became part of the problem, with Judeo- Christian boots on Muslim soil,” he said.
“The advice the Prime Minister is getting today is classic and correct military advice: that problems with IS cannot be settled solely by intervention from the air; that it must require ground troops closing in on the enemy and destroying them, supported by air and Special Forces.
“The ground troops we commit will be local ground troops.”
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