Britsh FM says more troops may be sent to Iraq as US plans to rehire fomer Baathists
British forces in Iraq could be reinforced to improve security in the country, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw indicated Thursday.
Straw acknowledged that British troops are likely to be in Iraq for “at least a couple of years”, adding “it could be longer”.
Straw told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In terms of the troop numbers, the troop numbers are kept under review, the Prime Minister made this clear yesterday in the House of Commons.
“And if there is a need for more troops to be sent, then I’m quite sure that my colleague Geoff Hoon (Defense Secretary) will arrange for that to happen. “I don’t think there are political objections to sending more troops if that is what is needed on the ground.”
Meanwhile, the United States is set to rehire thousands of members of fallen Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein's Baath party and former Iraqi military to help rebuild Iraq, The Washington Post said, citing American officials.
The move, proposed by US administrator for Iraq, Paul Bremer, is aimed at enticing the Sunni minority back into politics, the officials said.
After the US-led occupation of Iraq, all Baath Party members who were teachers, doctors or in top government posts were systematically fired.
"Iraq has a highly marginalized Sunni minority, and the more that people of standing can be taken off the pariah list, the more that community will become involved politically," a senior envoy from a "coalition" country told the daily. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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