UK withdrawing troops from Iraq

Prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown announced during his trip to Baghdad, Iraq, that his government will be withdrawing at least one thousand British troops from Iraq by the end of 2007. Brown also plans to gradually hand over control of Basra to Iraq security forces in accordance with the withdrawal.

“What we propose to do over these next few months is to move from a situation where we have a combat role to an over-watch role. Hopefully they will be home by Christmas,” said Brown.

There are approximately 5,500 British troops in Iraq, with most of them located in and around Basra.

The reduction agreement was reached between Brown, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Barham Saleh and General David Petraeus of the U.S. Army in Iraq with the troop withdraw expected to begin in Basra.

Brown is expected to travel to Basra later today. British troops recently withdrew from the city to a nearby base, leaving security in the hands of Iraqi forces.

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