British troops 'should go home'
The prime minister of Iraq has said that British troops should withdraw from Southern Iraq because they are no longer needed there, according to reports today.
British troops should leave Iraq because they are no longer needed to maintain security, Iraq's prime minister has said.
Nouri al-Maliki told the Times there might still be a need for their experience in training Iraqi forces.
He said a "page had been turned" in the country's relationship with the UK.
But he criticised Britain's decision to move forces from a base at a palace in Basra to an airport on the edge of the city last year.
He said: "They stayed away from the confrontation, which gave the gangs and militia the chance to control the city.
"The situation deteriorated so badly that corrupted youths were carrying swords and cutting the throats of women and children. The citizens of Basra called out for our help . . . and we moved to regain the city."