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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of medical personnel serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan were reservists in the latest period for which figures are available. (200940)

The proportions of UK medical personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who are reservists, as at April 2008, are 7 per cent. and 31 per cent. respectively. There is a total of around 200 UK medical personnel deployed in each theatre.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what competencies and powers the Royal Military Police have to investigate allegations of misconduct by (a) British nationals and (b) nationals of other countries, other than Iraqis who are employees of private military or security companies contracted to work in Iraq by his Department and British armed forces; and if he will make a statement. (202976)

[holding answer 1 May 2008]: The Ministry of Defence has no active contracts with Private Military or Security Companies (PMSC) in Iraq.

Under the Army Act 1955 the RMP has jurisdiction over individuals employed in the service of, (or accompanying, such as dependents in Cyprus and Germany), a body of the regular forces that is on active service. It does not matter whether the civilian is British or a national of another country or whether they are employees of PMSCs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the most recent tour intervals are of those units serving in the next roulement for Operation Telic. (203203)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 31 January 2008, Official Report, columns 522-4W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) required and (b) actual number of units serving in the next roulement for Operation Telic is. (203204)

I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 24 April, Official Report, columns 107-109WS. There have been no changes since my statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 58W, on Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations, for what reasons his Department does not keep records of the nationality of individuals killed in engagements involving UK forces in Iraq or Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (203476)

It is not possible to maintain accurate records of the nationalities of individuals killed by UK forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. Although battle damage assessments are conducted following an engagement, insurgents frequently do not carry documents that reliably indicate their nationality. Additionally the circumstances of engagements mean that the risks to UK forces remaining at the scene would frequently outweigh any benefits from attempting to confirm nationalities; many engagements are also conducted at ranges where UK personnel are unable to reach any insurgent fatalities before they are removed.