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Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 8 May 2007, Official Report, columns 63-64W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, if he will break down the number of attacks in each province by month. (139097)

The number of attacks in each province by month is provided in the following table:

Province

Month

Attacks on MNF

Al Muthanna

June 2006

3

July 2006

10

August 2006

7

September 2006

1

October 2006

3

November 2006

1

December 2006

0

January 2007

0

February 2007

0

March 2007

0

April 2007

0

Basra

June 2006

41

July 2006

92

August 2006

80

September 2006

121

October 2006

172

November 2006

177

December 2006

257

January 2007

227

February 2007

334

March 2007

243

April 2007

93

Dhi Qar

June 2006

2

July 2006

2

August 2006

8

September 2006

4

October 2006

3

November 2006

3

December 2006

2

January 2007

1

February 2007

2

March 2007

4

April 2007

5

Maysan

June 2006

18

July 2006

18

August 2006

21

September 2006

2

October 2006

4

November 2006

3

December 2006

1

January 2007

3

February 2007

4

March 2007

1

April 2007

1

The figures for the period between 1 June 2006 and 14 April 2007 includes incidents that involved some use of improvised explosive devices, rockets, mortars, rocket propelled grenades, grenades, small arms or other weapons such as petrol bombs or knives, but not the throwing of stones. Each record is not specifically verified and so cannot be guaranteed to be completely accurate.

The table does not convey the significance of each individual incident, which may range from a single shot fired at safe range through to complex improvised explosive device attacks.

The overall level of attacks in Basra province increased up until February 2007; this reflects the increased operational tempo which included Operation SINBAD and targeted search and detention operations. The increased MNF presence in and around the city and direct confrontation with militia contributed to the higher levels of attack.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice and assistance is planned to be made available for soldiers of the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on their return from their tour of duty in Iraq. (139146)

[holding answer 24 May 2007]: The 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Borders) (2 LANCS) have had a demanding tour of duty in Iraq. The support that members of the Battalion will receive will reflect this, and will be in line with that which is available to all units returning from operations. This support is designed specifically to help individuals deal with their experiences and to enable them to make the transition back to a normal pattern of life as smoothly as possible.

Immediately prior to their return to the United Kingdom, members of the Battalion will undergo a "decompression" period. This will be a time for relaxation with comrades in a controlled and monitored environment. Briefings on coping with stress and dealing with issues that might arise on homecoming will also be available. A community psychiatric nurse and Padre will also be available throughout this period.

On return to the United Kingdom, there will be a period of normalisation within barracks and with families. This will include events such as social functions, sports events, health awareness briefings, Commander's Welfare Seminar and a medals parade. The Battalion will then depart on Post Operational Tour Leave (POTL). On return from POTL further briefings on the effects of stress, how to recognise them and how to deal with them will be provided.

It is the chain of command's responsibility to identify and monitor those vulnerable to any form of post-operational stress, or stress related condition. Individuals who appear to be suffering from stress related conditions will be referred to the Army medical services for assessment and support where necessary. Army welfare support will also be available.