09 September 2007
British agreed to militia terms to evacuate Basra
As a further 250 British troops prepare to leave Iraq, it has finally been confirmed that the retreat from the Basra Palace base came about following negotiations with the militia groups, principally with the Mahdi Army. Significantly, it was the British who first approached the militia, and it was the militia leaders who laid down the terms for the cease-fire that allowed the British forces to make their orderly retreat to the airport.
The conditions were that the British leave Basra city and that they released the militiamen that they were holding prisoner. Nine senior commanders were released immediately, and the remainder are due to be handed over to the Iraqi courts soon. This is acceptable to the militias, because as one of their spokesmen said, the courts will just order their release.
Basra is calm at the moment because the British have left and the city is under the control of the militias. This came about as a result of a cease-fire which the British requested and under terms dictated to them by the militias.
Where's the victory in that, warmongers?