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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the number of incidents of intersectional violence in Basra in (a) July, (b) August and (c) September. (157085)

[holding answer 15 October 2007]: Overall reported crime rates for September in Basra remain at a similar level to previous months, and where security incidents have occurred the Iraqi Security Forces have demonstrated their ability to deal with them swiftly and effectively. It is not practicable to determine whether each act of violence is politically or criminally motivated but our assessment is that sectarianism is not a major factor in Southern Iraq.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many times British or coalition military forces have intervened militarily in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna since the handover to the Iraqi Government; (157140)

(2) who will make the decision for any British military intervention in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna;

(3) under what conditions British forces would be expected to intervene in (a) Maysan, (b) Dhi Qar and (c) Al Muthanna.

As the Prime Minister outlined in his statement to the House on 8 October, once Basra province has transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control, UK forces would only re-intervene in any of the provinces within Multi-National Division South East at the specific request of the Government of Iraq or where action is necessary for the self-defence of coalition forces.

Since Maysan, Dhi Qar and Al Muthanna provinces transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control, on no occasion have coalition forces been required directly to re-intervene, as the Iraqi security forces have been able to deal with the isolated incidences of violence that have occurred. On occasion, at the request of the Iraqi Government, coalition forces have, however, provided limited support to Iraqi security operations in these provinces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Territorial Army have been killed in operations in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan since 2003. (158377)

[pursuant to the reply, 17 October 2007, Official Report, c. 1118W]: I incorrectly stated that the number of Territorial Army personnel killed in Iraq since 2003 was four, the correct figure was five. The error occurred due to a misinterpretation of operational casualty records.