March 13, 2006

UK, US to start handing security to Iraqis: Reid

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. and British forces in Iraq could
begin the process of handing security responsibilities for some
Iraqi provinces to local forces within weeks, British Defense
Secretary John Reid said on Monday.

He also said Britain would reduce its presence in Iraq by
about 800 troops, roughly 10 percent of its force.

"In the next few weeks the joint committee to transfer
security responsibilities -- a body made up of Iraqi ministers,
military staff and senior coalition figures -- will start the
assessment phase to look at whether conditions have been met
for some provinces to begin the handover process," he told