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UK Troops To Hand Over Control Of Iraqi Province Soon

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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 said.

But UK troops would not start leaving the relatively-peaceful province until "up to 45 days" after the agreement was officially announced, he told BBC News.

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 themselves.

Unlike the death of al-Zarqawi this truly is good news.

[edit on 16/6/2006 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 12:52 PM
I wonder if this was meant to be a coordinated withdrawal with the rest of the US forces, which was announced by the Iraqi National Security Advisor? Perhaps a staggered pullout which Blair was talking about?

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 01:07 PM
If this really does occur, does this mean a corridor will be created leading from Iran to Saudi that is defended solely by Iraqi nationals?

Given that it is, as said, a Shia dominated region, I would doubt that such a situation would be allowed to arise...unless the 'Iran threat' etc. is not a prime motive for the coaltion's continuing presence.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 01:51 PM
I dont think thats really a problem under these circumstances. Just because there would be no coalition troops on the ground in that province does not mean that spy satellites and drones will cease to operate. Any suspicious activity moving from Saudi to Iran in that province would easily be detected and tracked/intercepted if needed.

Perhaps this is a bone to throw the citizens of those countries who partook in the Iraqi invasion? There has been little tangible progress since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The capture of Saddam and the formation of an Iraqi government really dont compare to rebuilding an autonomous province and leaving it well alone (without our tax dollars running it).

[edit on 16/6/06 by subz]

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