posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 11:16 AM
According to a British spokesman in Basra, coalition forces are set to hand control of the Muthanna province of southern Iraq to Iraqis by as early as
next week. The UK, Japanese and Australian troops would remain in the province for 45 days after the official hand over but would then leave the area.
British PM Tony Blair told BBC News that the troops would leave "progressively, over time, as the Iraqis are capable of handling the security
themselves and take responsibility for their own destiny and charge of their own country, which is what they want".
Coalition forces in southern Iraq are set to hand over authority in Muthanna province to the Iraqi government, a British spokesman in Basra has
But UK troops would not start leaving the relatively-peaceful province until "up to 45 days" after the agreement was officially announced, he told
The announcement could be made as early as next Tuesday, reports suggest.
British, Australian and Japanese troops control the province, the largest of five in the UK-run south east of Iraq.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This is a watershed in the Iraq conflict. A part of the country is very close to being wholly controlled by Iraqis once more. The Shiah dominated
Muthanna province has been a relatively peaceful province for the duration of the British occupation.
If this province can flourish under Iraqi control it will strain the insurgency to breaking point. A viable and prosperous alternative to armed
resistance of the US and coalition forces would sap the will of the people to support the insurgency, as well as the will of the insurgents
Unlike the death of al-Zarqawi this truly is good news.
[edit on 16/6/2006 by Mirthful Me]