Speaking at the G7 summit of major industrialised states in Germany, Cameron described the fight against Islamist extremism as “the biggest challenge” currently faced by Britain and the international community.
The deployment, responding to a request from prime minister Haider al-Abadi, will bring to 275 the number of UK military personnel in Iraq supporting the Baghdad government and Kurdish authorities in their struggle with IS, which has seized large swathes of the country and neighbouring Syria.
The bulk of the personnel — around 100 of those deployed — will train local forces in detecting and dealing with the roadside bombs and booby-trap explosives used by IS. Another 25 will focus on logistics challenges such as bridge-building.
While Britain’s mission in Iraq has so far been largely focused on the Kurdish capital Irbil, the new troops will be stationed at a number of bases around the country, including Baghdad. It is understood they will remain inside bases and will not be deployed in the field.
The announcement came as Cameron met US president Barack Obama in the margins of the Schloss Elmau summit for talks which were expected to focus on defence issues.