Italy to halve its Iraq forces by May




 
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January 18th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Italy to halve its Iraq forces by May


ROME, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Italy will reduce by half its troop force in Iraq by May as part of its phased withdrawal from the country, Defence Minister Antonio Martino was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
"As security conditions improve, our military commitment is reduced.
We had 3,200 troops in August last year, 2,900 in September and in January they are 2,600," Martino was quoted as saying by women's magazine Diva e Donna in an interview.
"We will continue like this throughout 2006 and I expect that in May the contingent will be halved," he said.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said that all the troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2006 in coordination with the Iraqi government.
Martino is due to present the phased withdrawal plan to parliament on Thursday.
Italy, which has the fourth-largest foreign contingent in Iraq, faces a general election next April in which the unpopular Iraq war is likely to be an issue. Most Italians and all opposition parties opposed the deployment.
The United States, which currently has about 140,000 troops in Iraq, has reduced its presence by about 20,000 since the Iraqi parliamentary elections on Dec. 15.
The U.S. military has announced plans to cut its contingent by several thousand more in the coming weeks. Other countries are also scaling back their presence.
January 18th, 2006  
Morten
 
 
crap... bad news really :S
January 18th, 2006  
Italian Guy
 
 
The article said "The United States, which currently has about 140,000 troops in Iraq, has reduced its presence by about 20,000 since the Iraqi parliamentary elections on Dec. 15.
The U.S. military has announced plans to cut its contingent by several thousand more in the coming weeks. Other countries are also scaling back their presence
".
I believe the situation in Iraq has been improving to a point where all the allied countries can start (and in fact already have started) downsizing their involvement in the country as the Iraqi forces get stronger and more capable of taking control of the territory.
Sounds like good news to me, not bad news.
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