Above all, we were focused on the defeat of Daesh – and Daesh have now lost the fight in Iraq.

Lt Cdr Waudby

She was one of 12 RN personnel out of 38 men and women from across the military to receive the what is the first Operational Service Medal to be created since 2003.

UK forces have been involved in the fight against Daesh since 2014 under the banner of Operation Shader – there remain 1,400 personnel committed to this day.

Mr Williamson said all could be “extremely proud” of their contribution.

“Our troops have made huge contributions to the fight against Daesh, helping end its tyranny in large parts of Iraq and Syria.

“Only by defeating this evil and barbaric group for good will we reduce the deadly threat they pose to us. I am pleased that today those who have bravely fought against such untold evil will get the recognition they deserve.

“Reflecting the changing nature of warfare I am pleased to announce that the medal will now recognise those making a vital contribution to Operation Shader from outside the conventional area of Operations, for example those Reaper pilots taking life-and-death decisions from back here in the UK.”

The RAF have so far conducted over 1,700 strikes against Daesh terrorist targets and units from Britain’s three services have helped train more than 77,000 Iraqi Security Forces in Infantry skills, bomb disposal work, engineering, and medical expertise. As a result, their capacity to defeat Daesh has increased considerably, contributing to the success of this campaign.

As for the Operational Service Medal for Iraq and Syria itself, it is silver with the Queen on the obverse with the inscription: ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID. DEF.

On the reverse is the Union Flag, surrounded by the inscription FOR OPERATIONAL SERVICE and the four major points of the compass with, between the points, four Coronets: Royal (top left), Naval (top right), Mural-Army (bottom left), and Astral-Royal Air Force (bottom right).

Warfare Specialist

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