120 more troops to be sent to Iraq - defence ministry
( AFP ) - The Ministry of Defence will send 120 more troops to Iraq to help train the Iraqi army, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The spokesman could not immediately specify a timeframe for their arrival in the Middle Eastern country, where around 4,000 British soldiers are already based.
"These personnel bring specialist skills to the Military Transition Teams already working with the Iraqi Army in Basra and are vital to further developing the Iraqi Army's leadership ability," he said.
"British forces are doing an excellent job to train and develop them further so ultimately they can take full responsibility for their own security. Troop levels are kept under review, and decisions are made based on the advice of commanders and conditions on the ground."
He dismissed as "pure speculation" a report in The Sun Tuesday morning describing planned troop withdrawals from Iraq as highly unlikely for at least a year.
Most British troops in Iraq are stationed outside the southern city of Basra, and the government has previously announced that their numbers would be cut to 2,500 this year, depending on conditions on the ground.