The Marquess of Lothian – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by The Marquess of Lothian on 2015-10-19.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) how many Syrian opposition fighters have been trained by British military personnel since January 2015, (2) what military equipment has been supplied to them and by whom, and (3) how many are actively involved in military operations at this time.

Earl Howe

Since January 2015, 268 Syrian opposition fighters have been trained at sites where British military personnel are training. Of these 268, 180 have completed their training and the majority of that number have returned to Syria. The 88 who left prior to completing their training were either removed for disciplinary reasons or opted out of the programme. Whilst they might not all have been specifically trained by a British trainer, it is likely that most had interaction with a member of a British training team at some point during their tenure.

The UK has not supplied military equipment to the Syrian opposition fighters. We do not comment on the provision of equipment by other coalition partners.

We cannot say with certainty how many of the trained Syrian opposition fighters are actively involved in military operations.