British troops in Basra,Iraq. 29 replies

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Force Recon

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#1 13 years ago

Basra governor demands UK apology

The authorities in Basra will not co-operate with British troops until they get an apology for a raid to free two UK soldiers, its governor has said.

Mohammed al-Waili has also demanded compensation for damage caused by the raid on Monday and a "guarantee that it does not happen again".

Britain has defended its action, saying the soldiers were handed to militiamen by rogue elements in the police.

British troops have reduced their presence on the Iraqi city's streets.

For the second consecutive day British forces were not seen accompanying Iraqi police on patrols around the city, as they routinely had in the past.

And elsewhere, a roadside bomb hit a U.S. convoy in southern Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding six.

Suspected insurgents shot at least eight Iraqis in four separate attacks on Thursday, according to officials.

Authorities in the southern Iraqi city say troops killed two Iraqi police during Monday's raid.

Unrest on subsequent days follows assurances from Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and Defence Secretary John Reid that the unrest has not strained relations between the two countries.

UK soldiers have described the moment when they were forced to flee their burning armoured vehicle during Monday's unrest.

Sgt George Long, of the Staffordshire Regiment, said part of his face was on fire when he fled the Warrior vehicle.

The violence followed the rescue operation to free the two the British soldiers who had been arrested, during which a jail was partially destroyed.

Mr al-Waili said: "The governing council met... and decided to stop all co-operation with the British until they meet three demands."

Listing his wishes, he said: "To apologise for what happened, to guarantee that it does not happen again, and third, to provide some compensation for all the damage they did during the operation."

The Army said the two soldiers were taken by militants after the police ignored an order from the interior ministry to release them, but Interior Minister Baqir Solagh Jabr has denied this.

During the ensuing political fall-out, the Iraqi prime minister has met John Reid in London to discuss the tensions surrounding the Army's rescue operation.

Anti-British demonstrations continued in the city on Wednesday, according to BBC correspondents.

But Mr Jaafari moved to quell disagreements by saying the incident was still being investigated.

The Iraqi prime minister said there was still a "desperate need" for coalition troops while the Iraqis built their own security forces.

But he added he was "optimistic" that Iraqi forces were making progress and shortening the amount of time foreign soldiers would be needed.

Meanwhile, Pte Burton, 20, described to Channel 4 News the moment his vehicle came under attack from the mob, during which a petrol bomb was thrown into a tank's turret.

"It had seeped down in the back with the troops in the back, and down into the driver tunnel, located between the turret and the driving hatch," he said.

Pte Burton said he had to kick open the hatch before jumping through the flames to escape.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4271234.stm

Things are not well.




Emperor Benedictine

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#2 13 years ago

There is now debate over here as to whether this means British troops should pull out (no sign that they will, though). However if we did pull out, Iraq would be left with not just an insurgency, but a militia that may have infiltrated their police force.




Force Recon

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#3 13 years ago
However if we did pull out, Iraq would be left with not just an insurgency, but a police force infiltrated by militants.

that's the problem.




Emperor Benedictine

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#4 13 years ago

I added a small correction there...we are not 100% sure what is going on with the police force. But I'd be interested to know why the soldiers were arrested to begin with...the most I have heard so far is that they were in disguise, carrying out some kind of undercover operation.




DavetheFo

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#5 13 years ago

The Iraqui's were in the wrong here, so I see no need for us to apologise.

They imprisoned our men, fair enough, but the current law states that they should have been immediately handed over to the British Armed Forces, and this did not happen.

Therefore, there was sufficient reason to fear for the safety of our guys. We go to rescue them, and find BOOM, the militia's got them. What would have happened if we didnt go get them? Two more families missing a son.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#6 13 years ago

Our military and police forces are a bit, infamous, for carrying out undercover operations.

As I understand it the release of the troops was secured but they were not released as they should have been, the situation in the area was becoming increasingly unstable and so a decision was made to extract the men before it could degenerate further.

On one hand it's easy to see the point of view of the people who ordered that extraction, these were their men and abandoning them to an increasingly violent situation was never really an option. There is the flipside of that which is the Iraqi authorities point of view, mainly that the British troops in the area had no right, (however much they might have had the capability,) to supplant the rule of Iraqi law. It's difficult to make the decision really, if we believe in the things we're trying to bring them, the sanctity of the rule of law, and so on; then we cannot be seen to be above that law. However if the police has been infiltrated by insurgent elements, or a militia group, then it can be argued that Iraqi law is not really valid at all.

Had the men been left there they might have died, in the end it comes down to whether you are willing to sacrifice the lives of those men to maintain good relationships with the Iraqi authorities. Myself, I'd have seen about getting them out, it's a bad thing to leave your troops behind, sometimes necessary but if you can avoid it you should.




Force Recon

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#7 13 years ago
But I'd be interested to know why the soldiers were arrested to begin with...t

me too.anything to do with abuses?

Two more families missing a son.
Authorities in the southern Iraqi city say troops killed two Iraqi police during Monday's raid.

I am not at all happy about incident.Hope things get better.




DavetheFo

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#8 13 years ago

They were suspected of killing two Iraquis whilst operating undercover.

However, in the process of getting them out, we killed a few more.




MR.X`

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#9 13 years ago

Well, were the Iraqis (no "u" after the "q" in Iraqi) supposed to be a threat to the soldiers? If so, I have no problem with the actions of the Brits. Look at it like this. This event, crisis if you will, will give the government of Basara experience in dealing with terrorism on their own for the first time. Hopefully, some good will come out of this situation. AFAIK, a number of actual insurgents were also freed through the hole in the wall. That is what I have a real problem with.




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#10 13 years ago
TheDarkInvaderBut I'd be interested to know why the soldiers were arrested to begin with...

That's the million dollar question. There's more to this story than the MoD's letting on me thinks.