British contingent sent to join forces in Basra

At the weekend, 120 soldiers in Cyprus - from the Second Battalion of The Lght Infantry - were sent to Basra from RAF Akrotiri.

As was widely anticpated Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has announced today that 2,200 British troops will be sent to Iraq to bolster military operations there, following a review of security operations in Iraq.

Daily attacks on coalition troops have continued unabated since the cessation of the primary military phase of operation in May.

Recent civil unrest is thought to have followed on from an inability of coalition forces to restore essential services in Iraq.

The US administration has let it be known that many of those thought to be involved in the continuing guerrilla-style resistance in Iraq are from outside the country and consider the action to be a “last stand” by desperate terrorist factions.

It is reported that two anti-aircraft missiles were fired at a US transport plane departing from Baghdad airport.

On Saturday, the US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, who visited Iraq at the weekend, spoke of the "wonderful start" to reconstructing Iraq.


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