Boris Johnson
The Conservative politician surprised British troops with a visit to the front-line Reuters

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson surprised British troops in Kurdistan with a visit to see the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq first-hand.

The Conservative politician posed with an AK-47 on the front-line against the Islamist rebel group and met with UK personnel who are training Peshmerga forces.

Johnson said he was in Kurdistan to mark London's role as an active ally in the region.

"The links between Britain and the Kurdistan region are developing at an incredible pace, there is a dynamic and forward looking leadership here and I am looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and discussing greater cooperation on a range of issues," he added.

Johnson also visited the region's main airport to witness the work of British firms, who are involved in the construction and running of the facility.

The mayor was accompanied on the visit by the British consul general to Kurdistan Angus McKee and Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi.

The trip comes after the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee called on the government to strengthen its diplomatic ties with Iraq's Kurds.

The group of MPs said the region is a "beacon of tolerance and moderation" in a part of the world beset by extremism and instability.