British Prime Minister Teresa May said on Friday that although the Islamic State (IS) has been crushed, thanks mostly to the strike by the base personnel, it still poses threat to the region and Britain.
May, who made this known on a short visit to an RAF base in Cyprus, said that British forces operating from the Akrotiri base, near the southern city of Limassol, conducted more than 1,600 strikes against Daesh targets.
She also said that the forces have supported more than 1,450 personnel working with allies and partners in Jordan and Iraq to fight IS and prevent its re-emergence.
“Here in Cyprus, you are the epicenter of so much of our military activity in the region,” May said, adding that the personnel of the base should be “incredibly proud” of helping to crush IS.
“That so-called Caliphate has been crushed and no longer holds significant territory in Iraq or Syria,” May said.
However, the British prime minister said that it is necessary to continue to deal directly with the threat they still pose in the region, but at the same time focus on training the Iraqi Security Forces so they can keep Daesh out.
She also spoke of the possibility of IS carrying attacks outside the Middle East.
“As Daesh seeks new ungoverned spaces from which to plot and carry out attacks, it is not just in those spaces that security is at stake but in the UK too.
“So it is vital that we support the stability of our partners across the Middle East,” she said.
Britain retained two military bases on Cyprus when the Eastern Mediterranean island was granted independence in 1960.