British Forces Given 6-Month Extension To Stay In Iraq
(Christian Science Monitor)
100 British Marines stationed in Basra were due to leave Iraq at the beginning of December 2011 because their mandate to train the Iraqi Navy was about to expire. Renewing the arrangement had not been given any attention because the country’s politicians have not formed a government eight months after parliamentary elections. To rectify the situation, the caretaker cabinet approved a 6-month extension on November 22 for the English forces to stay. They are stationed at the Um Qasr Navy base and are responsible for helping the Iraqis protect two oil terminals in Basra that are responsible for up to 80% of the nation’s exports. They plan on staying until January 2012 if the two can work out a long-term deal. That’s when the Defense Ministry believes that the Iraqi Navy will be able to handle the oil terminals themselves.
Lando, Ben, “British Navy trainers remain at oil terminals,” Iraq Oil Report, 11/22/10