British army preparing for three year occupation of Iraq
Date: Tuesday, February 04 2003
Topic: Canadian Politics
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
LONDON (AP) - The British army is preparing to occupy Iraq for up to three years after a war, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.
The Ministry of Defence said there was ``lots of contingency planning'' but that this was ``a long way short of specific instructions'' to prepare for occupation. War was not imminent or inevitable, the ministry added.
Britain is sending 35,000 troops - including a quarter of its army and its biggest navy task force in 20 years - to the Persian Gulf region to prepare for a possible war.
The BBC, which cited an unnamed senior military source, said army officers had just started planning to occupy Iraq. It said that under the plans, an occupied Iraq would be divided into three sectors, with a different country responsible for each sector.
The report didn't say which other countries would be involved in the occupation.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair told legislators in the House of Commons on Monday that the UN Security Council should pass a second resolution declaring Iraq in breach of its obligation to disarm and authorizing military action.
Last November, the 15-member UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on Saddam to give up nuclear, biological and chemical arms or face ``serious consequences.'' Iraq says it has no such weapons.
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