NEWS IN BRIEF
13 Dec 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. A Guardsman from 1st Bn Scots Guards died on 13 Dec 07 in Selly Oak Hospital from injuries sustained in an accident in Basrah on 12 Dec 07. UK deaths since the start of the Campaign thus rose to 174, of whom 109 have been classified as Killed in Action and 25 as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 13 Dec 07.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Nov 07, 292 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,264 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Dec 07.) From 16 to 30 Nov 07, the figures were one and 12.
Two Antonovs a week have been booked until April 2008 to assist with strategic airlift. (DE&S News, Nov 07.)
The Prime Minister visited the Contingency Operating Base in Basrah. (MoD, 10 Dec 07.)
Iraq formally accepted responsibility for the security of Basrah Province on 16 Dec 07. (MoD, 16 Dec 07.)
HMS RICHMOND returned to Portsmouth on 19 Dec 07. (MoD, 18 Dec 07.)
In a television interview on 19 Dec 07, the Chief of the Defence Staff challenged claims that the Iraqi Campaign had been a failure. (MoD, 20 Dec 07.)
Comment: Defence Equipment & Support is planning “the transition to the new posture in Iraq”. A range of equipment is being considered, some of which will be left behind while the remainder is to be transferred to Afghanistan or returned to the UK. A Kuwait Support Facility is being established, which will house elements of a Logistics Battalion. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0801, 31 Dec 07)
17 Dec 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sergeant from 2nd Bn The Yorkshire Regiment was killed on 8 Dec 07 during Operations in Helmand Province. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 86, of whom 57 have been classified as Killed In Action and three as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 8 Dec 07.) From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Nov 07, 307 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 801 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Dec 07.) From 16 to 30 Nov 07, the figures were four and 32. The Prime Minister visited Camp Bastion. (MoD, 10 Dec 07.) The Prime Minister updated the House of Commons on Operations in Afghanistan, confirming the maintenance of a 7,800-strong military force. (Hansard, 12 Dec 07, Column 303.)
Afghan and ISAF forces “comprehensively” retook the town of Musa Qaleh on 12 Dec 07. (MoD, 13 Dec 07.)
The UK hosted a Regional Command South conference in Edinburgh, attended by representatives from: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Romania and the US. (MoD, 14 Dec 07.)
Two Danish troops were said to have been killed by UK troops on 26 Sep 07. (MoD, 18 Dec 07.)
During a television interview on 19 Dec 07, the Chief of the Defence Staff described Afghanistan as “a long-term commitment”. (MoD, 20 Dec 07.)
Comment: General Sir David Richards, the former ISAF Commander, has given an exclusive interview to ‘Soldier’ (January 2008). The General suggests that his American successor in Kabul has insufficient troops and that NATO’s Statement of Requirement is not being met. General Richards is about to become Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0801, 31 Dec 07)
03 Jan 08. Iraq and Afghanistan: OP TELIC and OP HERRICK. In his New Year message, the Prime Minister pledged “that the men and women on the front lines of our security, at home and overseas, will have all the resources they need for our defence and their own safety.”
The Prime Minister held bilateral talks with the Iraqi Prime Minister at Downing Street on 3 Jan 08.
Starting on 11 Feb 08, the Law Lords are due to consider whether the Iraqi Campaign was legal under international law. The case has been brought by ‘Military Families Against the War’.
Comment: In Iraq, the number of UK troops is planned to reduce to 2,500 from 5,000 in Spring 2008. A further reduction is anticipated by the end of 2008.
In Afghanistan, the Prime Minister has confirmed that some 7,800 UK troops are to stay for what has