In the News: Britain to Begin Iraq Withdrawal Next Year

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that Great Britain will begin withdrawing its 4,100 troops in Iraq by the beginning of 2009. In comments before the House of Commons, Brown said the decision was based on progress being made in the training and mentoring of Iraqi troops, but he did not specify how many troops would return home. The planned reduction had been delayed while British and American troops supported the Iraqi government’s recent offensive in Basra against Shiite militias. Virtually all of Britain’s troops have been stationed in the southern province, which was handed over to Iraqi control last December. The handover allowed Britain to reduce its force by about 1,000 troops last year.

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