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Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what sources he draws on for compiling his estimates of the numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq during 2003. [114210]

We have no means of ascertaining the numbers of military or civilian lives lost during decisive military operations in Iraq, and have therefore made no such estimates, although we made every effort to minimise civilian casualties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to create a fully armed Iraqi Army; who will control it; what role a British Army training team will have; and whether other countries have requested a team for the training of their military. [121090]

Under the direction of Mr Walter Slocombe, the Director for Security Affairs, the Coalition Provisional Authority intends to lead on the creation of a New Iraqi Army. Its plans for the training of this force were formally announced on 23 June. Initial plans are to form a core Brigade of Light Infantry, although the final shape and size of the armed forces will be developed in consultation with emerging Iraqi authorities, who will be fully engaged in the development process. The early work will be conducted by the Coalition Military Advisory Training Team (CMATT) which has a UK military deputy. Training is due to commence on 15 July. It is anticipated that there will be a small United Kingdom element directly involved in the training and development processes of the New Iraqi armed forces. UK armed forces have significant experience in providing military assistance and advice to a number of countries around the world, including in the Middle East.