Tuesday, August 7, 2007
"A senior US intelligence official in Baghdad has said British forces lost control of Basra by pulling out troops too quickly.
British commanders are preparing to hand over Basra Palace to the Iraqi army later this month
The result has been a security vacuum which has allowed the city's religious, tribal and criminal factions battle it out for control of the streets.
"The British have basically been defeated in the south," the intelligence official told the Washington Post.
In a report to be published tomorrow in the influential American newspaper, the official said that a contingent of 500 British troops based at Basra Palace were "surrounded like cowboys and Indians."....."