Region | Iraq

Report: Britain has lost Basra

The British military's withdrawal from Basra, which will start soon, will be ugly and embarrassing and could deal a serious blow to US plans in the war-ravaged country, officials and generals were quoted on Sunday as saying.

  • Gulf News Report
  • Published: 23:05 August 19, 2007
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • An Iraqi holds a human skull after police found a grave containing 30 bodies in southwestern Basra, southeast of Baghdad.

Dubai: The British military's withdrawal from Basra, which will start soon, will be ugly and embarrassing and could deal a serious blow to US plans in the war-ravaged country, officials and generals were quoted on Sunday as saying.

Britain is expected to pull out of its base in the southern Iraqi city next month and hand over responsibility for security to Iraqi forces.

What US generals see, however, is a close ally preparing to "cut and run", leaving behind a city in the grip of a power struggle between rival militias that could determine the fate of the Iraqi government and the country as a whole, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

"The short version is that the Brits have lost Basra, if indeed they ever had it," the paper said.

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