UK out (for now)-
Britain will withdraw its remaining forces from Iraq to Kuwait by the end of the month because the Iraqi parliament failed to pass a deal allowing them to stay to protect oil platforms and provide training, a spokesman said Tuesday. Britain already has withdrawn its combat forces according to a previous agreement. The British Ministry of Defense said the new announcement related to between 100 and 150 mostly navy personnel left to train the Iraqi navy. U.S. troops would be standing in for the British while they were out of the country, according to the ministry. An agreement reached with the Iraqi government would have let some British troops stay in Iraq to train after most had left their bases around the southern city of Basra.
British Embassy spokesman Jawwad Syed said Tuesday it’s a procedural delay and that the remaining British forces will pull back to Kuwait until the issue is resolved. The troops’ existing mandate expires on July 31. “The guys who were doing the training are temporarily moving out to Kuwait while we talk to the Iraqi government about what we might do in the interim,” Syed said. “We have general broad support for our agreement … we’re hopeful that when we have the next parliamentary session, we should achieve a ratification.”
While the US creeps back in-
Nearly a month after American troops officially withdrew from urban areas in Iraq, they are quietly going back in again, patrolling the streets of towns and cities where, despite improvements in security, violence remains an everyday occurrence.