Iraq MPs hold vote to allow UK troops to stay
Aqeel Abdul-Hussein, head of the Sadr bloc in parliament, told reporters afterwards that Sadr supporters opposed any agreements backing the presence of foreign troops. The deal "is an extension of occupation forces which no noble person can accept ... We call upon our people to support us in this challenge," he said.
Both Britain and the United States reached deals with the Iraqi government, which were approved by parliament, to allow their troops to remain in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expired at the end of 2008.
The U.S. deal requires the withdrawal of the approximately 130,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
The United Kingdom had at the peak
level seven thousand soldiers in Iraq,
mostly in the port city of Basra and
southern Iraq. The UK troops have
suffered 140 men killed in operations
in Iraq. 108 were killed in combat, 32
died from illness, non-combat injuries or
accidents. We can only hope the results
are worth the cost.