In November 2001, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with the United States, the United Kingdom invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in Operation Herrick. The 3rd Division were deployed in Kabul to assist in the liberation of the capital and defeat Taliban forces in the mountains. In 2006 the British Army began concentrating on fighting Taliban forces and bringing security to Helmand Province, with around 9,500 British troops (including marines, airmen and sailors) deployed at its peak—the second-largest force after that of the US. In December 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the combat mission would end in 2014, and troop numbers gradually fell as the Afghan National Army took over the brunt of the fighting. Between 2001 and 26 April 2014 a total of 453 British military personnel died in Afghan operations. Operation Herrick ended with the handover of Camp Bastion on 26 October 2014, but the British Army maintains a deployment in Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral. Iraq WarEdit Main articles: Iraq War and Operation Telic
Two soldiers with a mortar gun—one loading and the other aiming
British soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers battlegroup engage Iraqi positions with an 81mm mortar south of Basra. In 2003 the United Kingdom was a major contributor to the invasion of Iraq, sending a force of over 46,000 military personnel. The British Army controlled southern Iraq, maintained a peace-keeping presence in Basra. All British troops were withdrawn from Iraq by 30 April 2009, after the Iraqi government refused to extend their mandate. One hundred seventy-nine British military personnel died in Iraqi operations. The British Armed Forces returned to Iraq in 2014 as part of Operation Shader to counter the Islamic State (ISIL). UK Operations/Military Aid to the Civil AuthoritiesEdit Main articles: Operation Temperer and Military Aid to the Civil Authorities The British Army maintains a standing liability to support the civil authorities in certain circumstances, usually in either niche capabilities (e.g. explosive ordance removal) or in general support of the civil authorities when their capacity is exceeded. In recent years this has been seen as Army personnel supporting the civil authorities in the face of the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak, the 2002 Firefighters strike, widespread flooding in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014 and most recently supporting the security services on Operation Temperer following the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.