UK to cut Iraq force 'by thousands'

British defence minister accuses Iran of inciting violence in Iraq.


    Since May 2003, 126 British troops have been killed in Iraq, mainly in the southern city of Basra

    "I can tell you that by the end of next year, I expect numbers of British forces in Iraq to be significantly lower..."

    Des Browne, UK defence minister

    Send us your views

    "In the end of course, it must depend on conditions on the ground, including the level of threat and the capacities of Iraqis to deal with it, and the final decision will be down to our  commanders," he said.

    Since May 2003, 126 British troops have been killed in Iraq. Most UK soldiers there are based in and around the southern city of Basra.

    Dividing Iraq "no solution"

    Browne also said: "Dividing Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish areas might appear seductive but it would not solve sectarian tensions. 

    "

    A divided Iraq would also threaten regional stability. Even without that division, Iraq is vulnerable to becoming a crucible for wider regional tensions.

    "Dividing Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish areas might appear seductive but it would not solve sectarian tensions"

    Des Browne, UK defence minister

    "

    It is vital now that Iraq's neighbours give it full support and undivided support.

    "Even Syria, whose motives the international community has often had cause to question, has shown signs of constructive engagement."

    Margaret Beckett, the British foreign secretary, said last week that Britain may be able to hand over security responsibility in Basra by the spring.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera + agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    FGM: The last cutting season

    FGM: The last cutting season

    Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation.

    'No girl is safe': The mothers ironing their daughters' breasts

    Victims of breast ironing: It felt like 'fire'

    Cameroonian girls are enduring a painful daily procedure with long lasting physical and psychological consequences.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.