British soldier dies at anti-IS coalition base in Iraq

British soldier dies at anti-IS coalition base in Iraq
A British soldier has died at a camp in Iraq, part of a UK army contingent training Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State group militants in the north of the country.
2 min read
03 January, 2017
Camp Taji is a Baghdad-run base that is used to train Iraqi soldiers [Getty]
An unnamed British soldier has died at a base near Baghdad, where Iraqi troops are being trained to fight the Islamic State group, the UK ministry of defence confirmed on Monday.

The soldier served with the 2nd Batallion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, but his name has not yet been released by the ministry.

The troop was not killed in combat or by enemy forces, the ministry said, although an investigation into his death is underway.

"The death occurred in Taji, Iraq, following an incident that is currently under investigation, but we can confirm that it was not as a result of enemy activity," the ministry said, according to the BBC.

Islamic State group militants are battling Iraqi forces in the north of the country, and have unleashed a wave of suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere.

Taji, just north of Baghdad, is home to an Iraqi army base which has also been referred to as Camp Cooke.

US and UK troops - along with other coalition forces - have used the camp to train Iraqi soldiers taking part in a long-awaited offensive against IS in Mosul.

A former Iraqi Republican Guard base under Saddam Hussein, the camp came under US control following the Washington-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Situated in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" - or "Triangle of Death" - the camp came under repeated rocket attacks by insurgents.

The base was handed over to the Baghdad government in December 2010, part of the US withdrawal from Iraq.

Since then, the rise of IS in north Iraq in 2014 saw some US troops return to provide training to Iraqi forces.