Tony Blair visits troops in Iraq Prime Minister Tony Blair has arrived in Basra for a Christmas visit to see UK troops in Iraq. Mr Blair is meeting senior military commanders for an assessment of the security situation and the likely impact of the recent elections. He is also expected to deliver a seasonal message of thanks to British troops in the region. It is Mr Blair's fourth visit to Iraq. The UK has 8,000 soldiers stationed in the country. Mr Blair is expected to discuss a possible timetable for the pull-out of British forces with military commanders, including Gen George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq. His visit comes after a senior British commander warned tensions in the south of the country meant a reduction in the number of troops was not feasible before April. Brigadier Patrick Marriot said last week security risks to his soldiers were so high they spend the majority of their time on force protection. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4551650.stm Just who you want to see at christmas!