World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


British PM: Basra To Soon Come Under Iraqi Control

By Jim Garamone

British PM Says Basra to Soon Come Under Iraqi Control

Basra, the second-largest city in Iraq, will be turned over to Iraqi provincial control in the next two weeks, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced yesterday during a visit to Iraq.

The city will be the largest population turned over to the Iraqis and will complete the turnover to the Iraqis of the southern provinces of the country.

Brown told British soldiers gathered at Basra International Airport that he had spoken with Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki by phone. "He asked me to pass on his thanks to you for what you have done to help rebuild the democracy of Iraq," Brown said.

"And it is because of all the operations that we have done over these last few months, indeed over these last few years, and particularly in recent times, that the security situation has not only improved, but he was able to tell me that he is now recommending that we move to provincial Iraqi control within two weeks so that the Iraqis can take far more responsibility for the security of the country."

British and Australian forces have trained 30,000 members of the Iraqi security forces in the region. "So, as a result of that, we can move to provincial Iraqi control over the next few weeks," he said.

"The reason why security is so much better here, the reason why things have improved, the reason why there is progress is because of you, because of what you have achieved, what you have done," he said. "And I want to thank all your leadership, and I want to thank every single one of you for what is being done."

British forces will assume overwatch position in the area, British defense officials said. About 4,700 British servicemembers are in Iraq now. These forces will move to the airport and be on call if needed by Iraqi security forces. British forces will continue to train Iraqi forces and will continue to monitor their progress, but all operations will be under Iraqi command, officials said.

Brown told the soldiers that the world admires their professionalism, courage and dedication. "We have managed now to get Iraq into a far better position, not that violence has ended, not that there is no security problem, not that it is safe in all the different areas in which you operate, but we are able to move to provincial Iraqi control, and that is thanks to everything that you have achieved," he said.

ENDS

SEE: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news