More TA Scots for Iraq
MICHAEL SETTLE, Chief UK Political Correspondent
September 01 2006
More than 100 Scottish reservists are being sent to Iraq in November for so-called "force protection duties", it was announced yesterday.
Territorial Army members of the 51st Highland, 7th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, have begun a two-month intensive training programme in preparation for their six-month tour of duty. … … …
'Over-reliance' on TA as 800 volunteers called up for Iraq
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
The Government yesterday announced the call-up of 800 Territorial Army soldiers for service in Iraq amid fears that the regular military is becoming dangerously overstretched.
The Tories said the mobilisation demonstrated an over-reliance on the reserves while four regular Army battalions are being cut to save money.
Already facing the largest demand for troops in the past year, the TA will come under further strain when another call for several hundred reservists is expected for the substantial British deployment to southern Afghanistan next spring.
The TA, which has suffered five deaths out of the British forces' total of 98, has been haemorrhaging troops since the Iraq war began with resignations running at three times the level before the conflict.
There are worries that with more than 12,580 reservists having already served in Iraq, the heavy operational pressures on the TA will have an adverse affect on recruitment as the mobilisation papers for the latest batch of troops go out before Christmas.
The Government has conceded that 6,000 part-time soldiers have quit in the past year, leaving the TA with just 35,000 troops, its lowest ever manning level.
The announcement came in a Commons written statement from the Defence Secretary, John Reid, who said the military was looking for 700 soldiers to bolster 20 Armoured Brigade when it deploys to Iraq next April. … … …
200 troops go back to Iraq
ABOUT 200 British troops are heading to Iraq for a second tour of duty.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry - based at Edinburgh's Redford Barracks - will deploy on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Defence, they will be part of a battle group providing escorts for supply convoys and security for British Army bases in and around the southern city of Basra.
Defence chiefs have described the work, which will last between two and six months, as vital.
Killings surge as Browne says Iraq's security is improving
ELENA BECATOROS IN BAGHDAD
A SURGE in bloodshed left at least 50 people dead in a suicide car-bombing and clashes between Shiite militia and Iraqi security forces yesterday.
In a brutal contradiction of claims that violence was decreasing, street fighting in the town of Diwaniya represented some of the bloodiest clashes yet among rival factions in Shiite southern Iraq.
The deaths mounted as Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, on a visit to Baghdad yesterday, hailed "significant" security improvements in Iraq. … … …