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Iraq

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what British-made arms and military equipment have been discovered in Iraq since the war began; to which countries these were originally supplied; and what actions he intends to take against countries who have diverted or re-exported arms to Iraq. [109003]

To date, no British-made military equipment or arms have been reported as having been discovered in Iraq that were supplied since sanctions have been in force. If any United Kingdom equipment were to be found which is proven to have been diverted or re-exported to Iraq in contravention of the UN sanctions regime, appropriate procedures would be followed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to protect the integrity of Iraq's infrastructure against looting; and if he will make a statement. [109004]

Coalition forces take law and order seriously and have been conducting joint patrols with local police. In Basra, several hundred police have now returned to duty and are participating in joint patrols with United Kingdom forces, These measures, supported by local leaders and community effort, have been effective in minimising looting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what preparations were made to ensure the (a) safety and (b) property of the hospitals from looters in Iraq; and when further action will be taken. [110387]

Immediately following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime some looting of equipment and supplies from hospitals in Iraq did take place in some areas before the Coalition forces established a presence and began to secure the facilities. In Basra, the presence of joint patrols between Coalition forces and local police, and the engagement with local leaders and the community has significantly reduced the incidence of looting. Medical supplies and facilities are returning to pre-conflict levels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the basis on which decisions are taken to return British troops from Iraq. [110994]

Decisions on the withdrawal or roulement of British units are taken on the basis of a range of considerations, including the requirements of the mission, the capabilities of different units, the length of time for which units have already been deployed and the availability of other units to replace them where necessary.