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uk to deploy 20,000 troops

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posted on Jan, 4 2003 @ 09:06 PM
heres the story off yahoo i copied and pasted cuz yahoo deletes its news and if u wanna read it here it is
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will begin deploying its troops to the Gulf on January 15, according to a report in the Sunday Times, giving the first firm date for a deployment by Washington's closest ally for possible war in Iraq.

Media have reported that Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce next week that he is sending troops and calling up reserves to have them in place for war if Baghdad is found in breach of a UN Security Council resolution on disarmament.

Blair was back in his office this weekend after a 10-day holiday at an Egyptian beach resort, which he interrupted twice to meet Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.

"Defence Ministry sources said yesterday that the first of up to 20,000 troops, together with their equipment, would start being moved to the Gulf on January 15," the Sunday Times said.

The defence ministry has said it is preparing for the possibility of war, but has not confirmed details of a deployment.

A navy task force led by the aircraft carrier Ark Royal is due to set sail on a training mission at the end of this month.

Sources have told Reuters it will be accompanied by the HMS Ocean troop ship carrying Royal Marine commandos, equipped for a seaborne assault.

Experts also expect Britain to send about two-thirds of its army's single armoured division from its bases in Germany, which would form part of a main ground force for an Iraq campaign alongside four or five American divisions.

The government has already chartered transport ships to carry the division's armour to the Gulf if a deployment is ordered, although it says this does not mean the decision to deploy has been taken.

Some 7,000 British reservists, mainly professional specialists such as doctors and nurses, are thought likely to be called up.

the drums of war are beating in the UK


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