1,500 UK troops expected to withdraw from Iraq

February 21, 2007 00:59

Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, the BBC reported. Blair will also tell the House of Commons during his regular weekly appearance there that a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will have left southern Iraq by the end of 2007, if the security there is sufficient, the BBC quoted unidentified senior government sources. The BBC said Blair was not expected to say when the rest of Britain's forces would leave Iraq. Britain currently has about 7,100 soldiers there. Blair's Downing Street office refused to comment on the BBC report, But Blair said last month that he would report to lawmakers on his future strategy in Iraq following the completion of Operation Sinbad, a joint British and Iraqi mission targeting police corruption and militia influence in the southern city of Basra. On Sunday, Blair told the BBC that the operation was completed.

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