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The British Army is looking for social media-savvy soldiers to form the 77th Bridage's propganda forceCC

The British Army has created a new psychological operations and propaganda unit to wage online war and "control the narrative" during conflicts.

The 1,500 members of the 77th Brigade will be drawn from across the British Army and Territorial Army reservists, and will begin operations in April.

It will draw on soliders who have experience in intelligence, and working in mainstream media and social media are being sought to man the brigade.

The formation of the unit comes after online propaganda campaigns waged by jihadist group Islamic State (Isis), in which it boasts of its exploits to attract recruits over social media and intimidate citizens in areas it operates, and Russia, which has portrayed the conflict in east Ukraine as one waged by independent volunteers from Russia and Ukrainian forces.

A British Army spokesman said: "77th Brigade is being created to draw together a host of existing and developing capabilities essential to meet the challenges of modern conflict and warfare. It recognises that the actions of others in a modern battlefield can be affected in ways that are not necessarily violent."

The move follows the creation of the English language Think Again Turn Away Twitter account by the US State Department, which actively combats claims by supporters of jihadist organisations which are made online.

This week, the French government launched its own online platform to counter jihadist propaganda.

The IDF pioneered online techniques designed to manage the way its operations in Gaza were interpreted after Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, launching Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts in six languages, reports the Guardian.

The new British Army brigade is nicknamed the "Chindits", in honour of a British commando unit that served in Burma during World War II, which despite its small size sewed confusion among the Japanese high command, engaging in raids behind enemy lines.

The specialised unit will be based in the village of Hermitage, near Newbury, in Berkshire.