Given the covert nature in which they operate it is extremely difficult accurately to assess how many foreign fighters have entered Iraq. We currently estimate that a few hundred foreign fighters may have entered Iraq from Saudi Arabia and Iran since March 2003, with the vast majority of them entering from Iran.
Maintaining records of civilian deaths in Iraq is ultimately a matter for the Government of Iraq and we believe they are best placed to monitor the situation. The Lancet report is one of a number of recent studies that attempts to estimate the numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq, none of which can be regarded as definitive. The figures in The Lancet report are significantly higher than other casualty estimates.
Alongside our coalition partners we continue to press the Iraqi authorities, both at a national and provincial level, to recognise and take action on the issue of militias. The process of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration forms a key part of tackling armed militia groups. We are ready to support this process in any way we can.
This is a matter for the US Government.
The US does not provide direct funding for the UK military deployment in Iraq. However, the UK does have access to US Commander’s Emergency Response Programme funding. Between 1 October 2004 and 30 September 2006 $145.3 million was drawn from this and allocated directly to reconstruction projects in MND(SE).
Coalition partners also share logistical support and may make available military assets in support of specific military operations. Where payment is required for these activities, it is provided on a repayment basis.
The cost of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MOD’s annual report and accounts. The total of the annual audited figures for the cost of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 was £4,026 million.