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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the incident in the Mansur district of Baghdad on 27 July, with particular reference to the number of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces during that incident. [129643]

UK Armed Forces were not involved in the incident in question. We do not possess sufficient information to comment on incidents involving Coalition partners' Armed Forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of coalition forces were killed in Iraq from the end of the conflict to 1 September. [128944]

Between the end of the conflict and 1 September, 16 United Kingdom armed forces personnel and one member of the Defence Fire Service (DFS) had died. Eleven, all from the armed forces, were killed in action or subsequently died of wounds received and six, including the member of the DFS, died in non-battle accidents or from natural causes.We do not hold data on the numbers of fatalities suffered by other members of the coalition.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions the Government has had with allies on the use of NATO peacekeepers in Iraq. [130778]

The possibility of NATO involvement in stabilisation operations in Iraq has been the subject of discussion within NATO and, bilaterally, between allies. Following the NATO ministerial meeting in June 2003, a communiqué was released that read:

"The North Atlantic Council will review NATO's contribution to the stabilisation efforts on a regular basis."
The North Atlantic Council has also agreed for NATO to support the Polish-led Multinational Division (Centre South) in Iraq. This support includes assistance with the force generation of the Multinational Division (Centre South), provision of NATO owned and operated satellite communications and advice on logistics.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his written ministerial statement of 8 September 2003, Official Report, columns 2-3WS, on Iraq, what funds have been set aside to cover the costs of the additional British troops to be sent to Iraq. [131106]

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has set aside £3 billion to a special reserve for the cost of military operations in Iraq. The Ministry of Defence drew down £1 billion of this reserve at Spring Supplementary Estimates 2002–03.It is too early to estimate the costs likely to arise in 2003–04. Once these are known, additional funding, if required, will be sought by MOD in the normal way through Supplementary Estimates.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all sites in Iraq where cluster munitions were deployed by the coalition have been identified. [129602]

Those areas where it is known Coalition Forces dropped explosive ordnance including cluster bombs, have been noted and work is currently underway to inspect and mark these areas in order to confirm the presence of unexploded ordnance. This work is being carried out by United Kingdom and Coalition Armed Forces and Non—Governmental Organisations. In areas outside the UK Area of Operation, it is for the Coalition Partners concerned to comment on their progress.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the degree of success achieved in integrating tri—service United Kingdom personnel into the United States Army V Corps Headquarters staff at Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force, in Baghdad. [130333]

Following its involvement in the recent successful combat operations in Iraq, Headquarters V (US) Corps assumed the role of Headquarters Combined Task Force 7 (HQ CTF 7).The Headquarters commands a multinational organisation of some 30 nations. It ensures that the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF7) provides the military support required by the Administrator and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). CJTF7 is commanded by an American three star officer. He has two deputies, one of whom is a UK two star officer (who also acts as the senior British military representative in Iraq). UK military staffs have been embedded in the HQ since May and now fill some 30 posts. We judge that the integration of tri-service United Kingdom personnel in the Headquarters, has gone very well.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) five most used weapons and (b) five most expensive weapons used in the Iraq conflict were; what the unit value of each of these weapons was; how many of each of these weapons were used; and if he will make a statement. [113262]

The five most common weapons deployed by UK forces during Operation TELIC were:

  • SA80 A2 rifle and variants;
  • Browning 9mm pistol;
  • General Purpose Machine Gun;
  • L2A2 hand grenade;
  • LAW 94 Light Anti-armour Weapon.
Calculating the unit costs of weapons used during the Coalition's military action will take some time since they will include the costs of weapons consumed in excess of peacetime levels and the cost of repairing and replacing weapons and ordnance that was destroyed or damaged. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as the work is complete.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many leaflets have been distributed by UK forces in Iraq giving information about the dangers of unexploded ordnance since the conflict began. [131142]

Providing a safe, secure and risk free environment for the Iraqi people is a key aspect of restoration activity for the Coalition. The United Kingdom has made a significant effort to educate the local population in its area of operations about the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance. To date, over 4,000 leaflets containing information about the dangers of unexploded ordnance have been distributed in theatre by UK troops. Those troops involved in explosive ordnance disposal continue to distribute leaflets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 1 September 2003, Official Report, column 901W, on warehouse looting in Basra, whether UK forces will increase their patrols as a result. [129999]

United Kingdom forces currently have 12 personnel from 1st Battalion The Kings Regiment based at the warehouse in Basra. Their role is primarily administrative but also to support and oversee the local Iraqi security guards who are directly responsible for the security of the warehouse.The physical security of the warehouse has been improved, with perimeter fences being secured and better lighting installed, and the guards have successfully apprehended a number of would be looters. UK forces continue to conduct routine patrols in the area of the warehouse. Commanders on the ground—?who are best placed to judge—?do not currently judge that there is a need to increase the frequency of these patrols.