Report: Britain to withdraw troops from Iraq until June

Other News Materials 10 December 2008 07:05 (UTC +04:00)

Britain is to withdraw most of its troops stationed in Basra by the end of June, a British news report said Wednesday edition, dpa reported.

Quoting sources in the Defence Ministry, the Guardian newspaper said in its Wednesday edition that only about 300 soldiers are to remain in the southern Iraqi port city at the request of Iraq.

After six years of occupation, the British will begin to leave Basra by March, the paper said.

"It'll be very gradual, and then a fairly steep reduction," one source was quoted as saying.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to announce the timetable for the withdrawal early next year.

However, the British will not hand over to the Iraqi authorities, but will be replaced by US troops, who will set up their own base at the Basra airport base vacated by the British troops.