Ng Eng Hen visits SAF troops in Iraq

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was in Iraq for a visit to Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops who are supporting the multinational coalition to defeat terror group ISIS.

Dr Ng arrived yesterday on a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 transport plane and visited an SAF medical team that is stationed in an army base in Iraq.

During the four-hour visit, he had lunch with the soldiers in the medical team and visited the medical centre where they are deployed.

SAF medical teams have been deployed to Iraq since June this year, working closely alongside teams from the Australian Defence Force and the New Zealand Defence Force to provide healthcare support to coalition efforts to counter the terror and extremist threats posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Dr Ng's visit to Iraq comes as Singapore leaders have noted that the terror threat is at its highest in years and soon after the group released its first propaganda video featuring a Singaporean fighter, Megan Shahdan Abdul Samad, 39.

Dr Ng's visit to Iraq was announced by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement last night. It did not spell out the base's location for security reasons.

Mindef also did not give details of the medical team, but said the SAF has deployed planners, liaison officers, intelligence fusion officers, imagery analysis teams, and RSAF KC-135R tanker aircraft in the region since Singapore announced in November 2014 that it is supporting coalition efforts to defeat ISIS.

Dr Ng was accompanied by Dr Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Perry Lim, Deputy Secretary (Policy) Keith Tan and senior SAF officers.

Dr Ng is scheduled to travel to Jordan, where he is expected to call on King Abdullah II and Prime Minister and Defence Minister Hani Fawzi Al-Mulki.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'Ng Eng Hen visits SAF troops in Iraq'. Subscribe