In the week that British forces departed from Basra Palace, Kim Sengupta reports on the propects for a country where so many have died – and are still dying
"Hassan Ali Ibrahim remembers his father talking about the last time the British were in Basra. The fighting that took place then spread across Iraq as the Shias in the south, the Sunnis in Baghdad and the Kurds in the north rose up against the invaders.
The rebellion came after Major-General Sir Stanley Maude had captured Baghdad in 1917. Six thousand Iraqis and 500 British and Indian troops had died by the time it had been put down after a prolonged campaign of attrition.
Following the invasion of the country in 2003, the headquarters for the small UK contingent in Baghdad, working with the Americans, was named Maude House. It was an ill-advised choice, for what has happened since bears remarkable similarity to events 90 years ago........"