Originally published in the Sunday Express
Britain is to send 50 special forces trainers to help the Tunisian Government “seek and destroy” the Islamic State terrorists behind the Sousse massacre. The move comes a week after the beleaguered Tunisian Government appealed to the international community for help.
According to senior military sources, the 50-strong team will be drawn from Special Forces units. They will be joined by “Foreign Office experts” as well as French and German advisors who will help to evaluate additional equipment is needed by Tunisia’s 27-000 strong Army.
Robin Simcox, of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said success against IS could not be achieved without ground troops.
“How long do we have to fight the 2003 war before we can start making decisions based on 2015? This is a completely different conflict.
“The clear objective stated by President Obama, and backed by David Cameron, is to degrade and destroy IS. But we have to question how serious we really are about it.
“IS is a group that has been embedded in this caliphate for a year now, and has been expanding into Libya, organising attacks all over the world, killing our citizens. Of course they are going to make it difficult by integrating themselves in civilian populations.
“Does the Government really think that air strikes, with the difficulty of finding suitable targets in civilian populations, and leaving the fighting to a questionable Iraq security force, will get the job done? If so, it is a flawed strategy based on blind hope.