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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:34 PM
Original message
British hand over control of Basra
British forces have handed over their main base in the city of Basra to the Iraqi military to allow it to take over the main security duties there.

Get that? The "Iraqi military" controls Basra. That must be the
one brigade that can stand on its own, I guess.


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The handover by the British took place a week after riots broke out in the city - Iraq's second largest - after troops stormed a jail on September 19 where they believed two British soldiers had been taken after being arrested by Iraqi police. The raid sharply increased tensions between the British forces and Iraqis in the city.

British troops moved to a base 18 miles outside Basra to be able to intervene in a crisis.

It was the third southern city to be handed over to Iraqi forces in the space of a month following the US transfer of security control in the cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Scotsman
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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Might as well just go home.... coincidently this is occurring after
undercover SAS officer scandal...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. It would be interesting to know if that incident affected this "handover".
However, the Brits lack the manpower to enforce order on a
hostile population in the South, and have been allowing "militias"
to run things anyway, so I would guess this amounts to hunkering
down in a "force protection" posture, and given the likelihood that
they will be attacked if they attempt to "patrol" seems like a good
idea (although going home now would be better.)
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. Was this planned more than 7 days ago?
Interesting.
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Henny Penny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Its called a retreat! n/t
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Massachusetts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bingo!!!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good for them! It's about time. n/t
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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. The withdrawal proceeds apace
Handing over control to local strongmen. Ah, the sweet, high scent of desperation.
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. "a base 18 miles outside Basra"
hell, we cannot even secure the 9 miles to Baghdad Airport.
This is a retreat, a pullout.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Fort Zinderneuf al Basra will maintain the British presence in Iraq. nt
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. The British had said something about disbanding the 25,000 Iraqi
police officers, and starting over. (That was right after the jail break.) I wonder if this is what they are doing instead.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yes, but that was silly to start with.
However, it's good you pointed that out.
A dumb statement now proven to be a dumb statement.
Wiser heads have prevailed.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. That disbanding story came out at the same time as one saying
that British troop numbers were going to be scaled down - we just couldn't tell which was correct.

If the US transfered Karbala and Najaf in the same way in the past month, this sounds like something that had been planned anyway, before last week.

If the British troops and Iraqi police didn't trust each other, a withdrawal is probably good. Starting the Basra police over never sounded possible to me, and having 2 forces claiming control over a city seems a recipe for more conflict. Let Iraqis sort out their own future - short of large-scale massacres starting, I can't see any situation that a British presence wouldn't make worse.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Military to take over security?
I wonder what the local cops will think of that?
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. Is this sort of like surrendering, while pretending not to?
Turning control of the city over to hostile militia groups and then pretending it's a victory is what it sounds like.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
15. The British handed political control over Basra two weeks after invasion.
In his book America's Secret Wars, George Friedman wrote about this. He said that it infuriated the Americans when they did that.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
16. Iraqi military in Basra made up of militia groups and insurgents
There was an article about this last week in The Independent.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. maybe they did maybe they did not control basra to start with. So much
false information coming out of Iraq, I find it difficult to believe much of anything anymore.
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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. The Brits let Sadr, Badr and Dawa do what they wanted
anyway in Basra so this really doesn't change much.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
19. Let's mention Steven Vincent while we're at it.
He nailed all this before his unfortunate demise.
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