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Sunday, September 19, 2004

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 Even the UK is abandoning Bush

The Guardian is reporting that the British Army will start pulling troops out of Iraq next month despite the deteriorating security situation in much of the country.

The main British combat force in Iraq, about 5,000-strong, will be reduced by around a third by the end of October during a routine rotation of units. Currently there are 8,000 British troops in the 14,000-strong 'multinational division' in southern Iraq, which has responsibility for about 4.5 million people. The cuts will occur in the combat elements of the deployment - the 5,000-strong infantry and armoured brigade that is committed to the provinces of Basra and Maysan. Four Royal Navy ships will remain in the Gulf.

News of the troop withdrawal comes at a difficult time for Blair, with the publication yesterday of leaked documents suggesting that he was warned a year before the invasion that it could prompt a meltdown.

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