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Iraq: Armed Forces

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 4 June 2007, Official Report, columns 171-2W, on Iraq: armed forces, what changes were made to his Department's agreed plans as a result of the events described. (154217)

Working with the Iraqis, coalition planning evolved over time and was sufficiently flexible to respond to changing circumstances and conditions on the ground.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his assessment is of the capabilities of the Iraqi (a) army, (b) navy, (c) air force and (d) police in Multi-National Division South East. (154241)

The capabilities of all branches of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in Multi-National Division (South-East) (MND(SE)), including the army, navy, air force and police, continue to develop. In the three provinces already handed over to the Iraqi authorities, they have proved themselves able to maintain security. In Basra, the Iraqi Army have successfully taken on responsibility for a number of former coalition bases in and around Basra city. The Government of Iraq have recently decided to increase ISF resources and manpower in MND(SE) by two Iraqi National Police Battalions and an additional Iraqi Army division.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his assessment is of the capabilities of units in the 10th Division of the Iraqi Army to carry out autonomous operations. (154242)

10 Division and its subordinate units continue to make good progress in strengthening their ability to operate autonomously, as demonstrated by recent operations, including the successful handover of UK bases in Basra city in September. The constituent brigades of 10 Division now operate autonomously in three of the four provinces in MND(SE): Dhi Qar, Al Muthanna and Maysan. However, there remains a requirement for advice and support from coalition forces to enhance current capabilities.