US Hands Over Basra Port to Iraqi Forces

27.07.2011 Iraq
US Hands Over Basra Port to Iraqi Forces

US Hands Over Basra Port to Iraqi Forces

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U.S. forces handed control of security for Basra Port to Iraqi Forces on Tuesday, an Iraqi Navy Official said.

"Today we took charge of the oil terminals at Basra from the Americans," the Official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Iraqi Security Forces will now be responsible for providing security for the oil export terminals, through which nearly 80% of all Iraqi crude oil exports pass.

A small contingent of American troops will remain for a hand-over period to train the Iraqi Forces and will withdraw gradually.

Iraq's third-largest city and a strategic oil hub, Basra had been under British command since the 2003 US-led invasion, but the province and its airport were returned to Iraqi control in 2009. The U.S. maintains a large presence at the city’s airport.

U.S. troops are due to leave Iraq by end of the year unless the Iraqi government requests an extension to their stay.

There are currently around 47,000 American soldiers in Iraq.

Basra, Iraq's third-largest city and a strategic oil hub, had been under British command since the 2003 US-led invasion, but the province and its airport were returned to Iraqi control in 2009. The U.S. maintains a large presence at the city’s airport.
 
 



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