World Politics Review: Brits Pull Out of Basra

17.12.07

Categorie: Iraq |

BASRA, Iraq — British forces signed a memorandum on Sunday formally surrendering their lead role in providing security for Iraq’s most economically important province. Oil-rich Basra, home to Iraq’s only two seaports, is the last of four formerly British-occupied provinces to return to Iraqi control.

“It’s in your hands now,” Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie said, addressing Basra’s security forces.

The handover means a reduced role for the 4,500 British troops concentrated at Basra’s international airport outside the city. The dwindling U.K. contingent will leave its compound only when asked to do so by the Iraqi government. “We are guests in your country, and we will behave like it,” Maj. Gen. Graham Binns said at Sunday’s ceremony, which took place in the airport’s departure lounge — an unintended bit of symbolism that did not go unnoticed by the Western and Iraq dignitaries and journalists who attended.

Read on at World Politics Review.

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3 Responses to “World Politics Review: Brits Pull Out of Basra”

  1. [...] Related: Goodbye Basra, Day Three: Sand Castles Goodbye Basra, Day Two: Big Bad Rides Goodbye Basra, Day One: Incoming! Wash Times: Brits hand over WPR: Brits bugger out Basra pics No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  2. [...] The Brits are in a rush to get the Hell out of Basra. But they’re not going anywhere until the Iraqi Army is ready to fully take over. Hence the importance the British military places on its so-called “monitoring, mentoring and training” role. Of the roughly 4,500 British troops still in Iraq, around 1,000 are trainers, including the entire 1 Scots battlegroup based at a former 1920s RAF airfield called Shaiba.  [...]

  3. [...] Three years ago, I went on patrol in downtown Basra with the British Army. (That was back when the Brits still played a major role in security in southern Iraq.) We rode in small, lightly armored “Snatch” Land Rovers because, I was told, larger vehicles simply wouldn’t fit on Basra’s narrow, crowded roads. [...]

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