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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No plans for permanent military base in Iraq, says UK

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, March 2, IRNA -- The British government has followed the US 
in denying aims to build a permanent military base in Iraq. 
"There are no plans for any permanent UK military bases in Iraq," 
Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said in a written reply to 
parliament published Wednesday. 
The idea of building bases in Iraq were first floated before the 
war by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, when he suggested 
that American soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia should be moved 
there. 
Plans for permanent bases have subsequently been denied by US 
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, despite repeated reports of 
engineers constructing between four and 14 long-term encampments. 
Speculation further mounted in January when the New York Sun 
revealed that the Pentagon was building a permanent military 
communications system in Iraq, seen as a necessary foundation for any 
lasting troop presence. 
In a separate reply to parliament, Ingram confirmed that there 
were approximately 9,200 UK service personnel deployed in Iraqi 
operations, including 7,900 are currently serving inside the 
country. 
HC/1430/1412 



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