Britain has appointed a security envoy to Iraq's Kurdistan region as part of efforts to defeat militants of the Islamic State group.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office says Lt. Gen. Simon Mayall, the government's Middle East defense adviser, will "support Kurdish and wider Iraqi efforts to counter (the Islamic State) and work with Iraq's leaders as they establish a unity government."

Downing Street said in its statement Sunday that Britain soon will send night-vision equipment, body armor and other non-lethal military gear to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the Royal Air Force would begin shipping eastern European ammunition and weapons of types used by Kurdish forces.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Hammond said the threat from militants in Syria and Iraq could last a generation.