Female soldiers could join front-line combat by 2016

Billy Ehrenberg
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Michael Fallon supports female soldiers on the frontline (Source: Getty)

The ban on women engaging in front-line combat could be lifted by 2016.

A review of the ban carried out by the army decided that a lifting of the ban would not have a negative effect on the efficiency of front-line units.

Under current rules, women can serve on the frontline but are not allowed to take part in operations where the primary objective is to engage the enemy. This leaves them performing support roles, although women pilots have been taking part in combat operations over Iraq.

The review has not assessed the psychological demands, however, with the Ministry of Defence deciding more research is required in that area.

Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, said that such roles "should be determined by ability". According to the BBC, sources have said there is a real desire among ministers for the change to take place.

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