Iraq forces get provincial security role

Iraq's prime minister says his forces will take over security in the southern province of Muthanna in July, where the British oversee a multinational contingent.

    Al-Maliki says Iraq will take over security in July (file photo)

    Transferring security to Iraqi security forces is a part of British and US plans to withdraw troops from Iraq.

    Muthanna would be the first of Iraq's 15 provinces outside of the relatively peaceful Kurdish north to come under full Iraqi control.

    Nuri al-Maliki said: "Muthanna is the first Iraqi province that will have the honour of being transferred from multinational forces to Iraqi forces.

    "The security file will be handed over completely next month and we will determine the exact date later on."

    Al-Maliki made his comments hours after Des Browne, the British defence minister, arrived in Baghdad for a two-day visit.

    Britain, with about 7,000 troops in Iraq, has 150 soldiers deployed in largely Shia Muthanna. Australia and Japan also have forces in the province neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

    Muthanna has not seen the levels of violence that have gripped Basra province, also under British control, where there have been frequent clashes between British troops and Shia militias, prompting al-Maliki to declare a state of emergency.

    SOURCE: Reuters


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.