US asks Britain to deploy troops in more parts of Iraq

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Oct 15, 2004.

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  1. Story below might be of interest. Also reported tonight that 1 BW, who had been "expected" to leave theatre before Christmas, have had their tour extended to cover the Iraq elections in January.

    US asks Britain to deploy troops in more parts of Iraq: TV

    LONDON (AFP) - The United States wants Britain to deploy troops in more volatile parts of Iraq, as a new offensive on insurgent-held Fallujah looms, reports from Britain said.

    "Ministry of Defence sources have told Channel Four News that the US military has lodged a formal request for our troops to cover forces which are to be re-deployed for a renewed offensive against insurgents in the rebel city of Fallujah," Britain's Channel Four television said on its website,

    "Its understood that the commanding officer of the reserve betallion of the Black Watch is looking at a request for some 650 personnel to provide cover for the Americans," it said.

    Some 8,000 British troops are currently in Iraq but they are all in the relatively quiet, oil-rich south of the country, with their headquarters in Basra city.

    Channel Four said its sources had "emphatically denied" that British troops go into either Fallujah or Najaf, another insurgent hotbed. They suggested instead that the soldiers might be sent to Baghdad or other sectors.

    "The implication of this is (that) it would mean British forces operating under US command and in areas that have up until now been policed and supervised by the Americans," it said. (Oh, good. Comment ends)

    Defence sources in London told Britain's domestic Press Association news agency that while coalition partners could ask British forces to extend their areas of operation, such requests were not always agreed to.

    A Ministry of Defence spokesman said coalition allies in Iraq constantly discussed their operations.

    "If these discussions lead to a decision, it will be announced in the normal way," he said.
  2. Let's hope it's not the BW. That WOULD be the shi**y end of the stick for a battalion which has already done two tours in a year, including a leading role in the invasion.
  3. Maybe they will send the Royal Scots, just to rub it in :evil:
  4. With the levels of insensitivity currently displayed by ECAB, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. But the Watch deserve a break. Or perhaps sickening large numbers into PVRing is part of the overall gameplan.
  5. from BBC

    Black Watch may extend Iraq stay

    The regiment is on its second tour of duty in Iraq
    Members of the Black Watch regiment may have to remain in Iraq for longer than had been hoped, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
    It had been expected that the 600-strong battalion would be back home before Christmas after completing four months of a six-month tour.

    But officials said they may have to stay to help curb insurgency in the approach to elections in January.

    Opposition parties have urged the MoD to clarify its intentions.

    The regiment is on its second tour of duty in Iraq.

    It encountered some of the fiercest fighting of the war during the first tour last year.

    One soldier died and another was seriously injured during the second tour of duty.

    There has been speculation that the Black Watch could be sent to Baghdad.

    This uncertainty is extremely unsatisfactory and undesirable

    Michael Howard
    Conservative leader
    But an MoD spokeswoman pointed out that British troops - the Royal Highland Fusiliers - were already serving there.

    The MoD has continued to insist that there are no plans to send British troops to help US forces in Falluja.

    However, Conservative leader Michael Howard said the uncertainty should be cleared up to avoid further anxiety for the regiment and their families.

    Speaking during a visit to the Black Watch museum and regimental headquarters at Balhousie Castle in Perth, Mr Howard called for a Commons statement.

    "This uncertainty is extremely unsatisfactory and undesirable and needs to be cleared up as soon as possible," he said.

    The Scottish National Party said the MoD should "come clean" over its plans for the Black Watch in Iraq.

    Regiment pledge

    Peter Wishart, SNP MP for North Tayside, said: "If the Black Watch is to be sent to assist US troops, there must be an unambiguous outline of the sort of operations which the regiment will be involved."

    The Conservative leader also said he wanted to defend the Black Watch over plans to merge regiments in Scotland.

    "I am here to express my solidarity and that of the Conservative Party with those who are fighting to save the Black Watch.

    "We will save the Scottish regiments. We will save the four battalions of the British Army which the government proposes to scrap."

    The Black Watch, which traditionally recruits from Perthshire, Angus and Fife, is based in Warminster, Wiltshire.
  6. The powers-that-be have decided they need Warrior battalions for the run-up to the Iraqi elections. There are only two in-country, the BW and the PWRR. Pity it was announced last week by MoD that the BW lads would be flying home for Xmas. How to feck morale and influence people. :twisted:
  7. From what I have been told the BW were told that they might be back early and needless to say that slipped out before it was confirmed! Needless to say that you should never believe the fist word that comes off the Battlefield.

    What ever happens...I am sure the Jocks will continue to serve in the highest traditions of their Regiment - only to be merged when they get back as a big thank you! Cheers Mr Hoon.:cry:
  8. Cheers, you fuckwits. So, they all ****ing off back home or what?
  9. Can't understand why our transatlantic cousins don't just allow those highly-competent Iraqi National Guard chappies to assume their rightful place in the van of the offensive against Falluja.........they've had at least a week's training. They can defect by platoons now, whereas before it was a disorganised, individual effort.

    Free the BW 600!
  10. That's just cynical.

    BBC News 24 currently leading on (1) US request for UK Bn out of current area and (2) MOD confirmed BW "may be asked" to stay on longer.
  11. latest BBC analysis

    UK troops 'set for US Iraq role'

    British soldiers could be sent to support American forces in some of Iraq's most volatile areas.
    Senior British military sources say the US has asked British troops to fill in behind American soldiers, who are being sent elsewhere.

    It is believed UK forces could be sent from Basra, in southern Iraq, to an area south of Baghdad.

    BBC defence correspondent Paul Adams said they would be under US command, which might cause controversy.

    No decision made

    The Ministry of Defence confirmed discussions were taking place, but said no decision had been made. If it's the case that British troops are to be moved out of area, it's vital that a statement is made in Parliament

    Tory leader Michael Howard called for a statement from the government.

    He said: "If it's the case that British troops are to be moved out of area, it's vital that a statement is made in Parliament at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can ask the relevant questions."

    Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Paul Keetch warned against placing British forces under US command.

    He said: "British forces should remain under direct British control within the British sector. Any change to this basic command structure should be brought before the House of Commons.

    "With the public disquiet about ongoing operations in Iraq, placing British forces under direct US control would not be supported by the British people."

    'Insurgent stronghold'

    The deployment, which would involve up to 650 personnel, is expected to last "a few weeks", the BBC was told.

    It would allow US forces to be sent from Baghdad to join those involved in operations in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

    One option being considered would involve Scottish troops from the Black Watch Regiment extending their tour of duty in southern Iraq by a short period.

    If this option is pursued, the plan would be to have the regiment home in time for Christmas.

    Speculation that Black Watch could be redeployed emerged from families of its soldiers.

    Troops are currently acting as the reserve force in the southern city of Basra, and their relatives say they were told they would not be returning home next month as planned.

    'Good ally'

    A MoD spokesman said no decision had been taken to extend their current tour: "Discussions are continuing as these things are always discussed. But if these discussions lead to a decision it will be announced in the normal way."

    One military source told Paul Adams the request to move troops was a matter of being a "good ally" to the US, and it was no good "sitting pretty" in the south in large numbers when the Americans were doing all the difficult work elsewhere.

    The source added the move was seen as posing no significant additional dangers to those already faced by British forces in the country's south.

    The movement of troops, if agreed to, would not necessarily add to the numbers of British soldiers stationed in Iraq.

    A separate decision could be taken to boost numbers ahead of the elections, but a decision on this has also not been made.

    taken from
  12. The BW battlegroup was technically under US Marine Corps command last year. But where does the MoD apparatchik get off with Brit forces "sitting pretty" in southern iraq?

    He obviously hasn't heard about the 100,000 rounds fired by said peacekeepers in August, or the 400 mortar rounds and rockets fired at Al Amara. Doesn't he realise his free tea and biscuits have been cancelled to pay for replacement ammo?

    Hackle, cynical? Moi? Shurely shome mishtake. That's my evil twin you're thinking about. :roll:
  13. Radio is now confirming Black Watch staying on for longer. Bad news for the Black Watch, good news for any Iraqis who get them instead of the Americans!
  14. Want a bet? They'll be hacked right off about spending Xmas in the Sandpit. The Iraqis in their sector had better be on their best behaviour.... 8)
  15. Even so... The local news has it that they'll be deployed to these hotspots to 'teach the Americans how to do it properly'. And pissed of as they will be, I bet they'll still be better for the locals.

    Speaking as someone who got shot by an American (blanks!) a few weeks ago because he was on a sniper stalk and happened to see me - on a different stand! Talk about stereotypical don't-bother-identifying-your-target.....

    Vast amounts of sympathy to the BW though. Especially given what's going on up here to the scots regiments.

    Off Topic: As a foreigner (english) the amalgamation doesn't mean much personally but purely objectively I can see it's going to hurt recruitment at least. Which is going to make the undermanning worse, which is what the algamation is trying to cope with. Bolox.

    I was going to rant about how many people we can field now but I've deleted all that - a subject for another post I think. Things Are Not Good. More Bolox.