Thursday, February 22, 2007

Analysis: A job left undone in Basra

British soldiers assume defensive positions after being fired on in Basra. Britain announced yesterday that it would begin withdrawing forces from Iraa.

Tony Blair says Iraq has made “remarkable” progress. Clusters of red on the British Army’s own maps of Basra suggest otherwise.

On military charts, significant swaths of the southern city are security coded scarlet, for unsatisfactory. Other zones are marked green, satisfactory, or amber, between the two.

Levels of violence and anticoalition attacks are far lower in the Shia-dominated south than the Sunni triangle around Baghdad. But British casualties have been increasing over the last year, with more than ten soldiers killed and 60 injured since November.

Read the rest at the Times of London