LONDON – Britain's defense minister says women should be allowed to serve in front-line army combat units.
Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday the army should be open "to all who can meet the standards required."
He said tough fitness rules meant "some roles will have limited numbers of women who can meet those criteria."
Hammond announced an immediate review of the policy barring female troops from the infantry and armored corps, to be led by the head of the army.
He said since countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia and Israel allowed women in combat roles "this is something we have to look at again."
In Britain women can serve in most military posts, from fighter pilots to submariners, but not in units whose primary role is close-quarters combat.