London, June 23 : British forces are likely to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, it was reported last night.
Military chiefs believe the security situation is secure enough to pull out most of the remaining 4,000 troops stationed in Basra, leaving just a handful to train Iraqi security forces.
This would free up the rest to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. An official announcement could be made as early as next month.
At the height of war in 2003 there were 46,000 UK personnel in Iraq. But the situation is now relatively peaceful.