Basra Issues Warrant for Two SAS Operatives....

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Basra warrant for two UK soldiers......

Petrol bombs were thrown at British armoured vehicles on Monday
A Basra judge has issued an arrest warrant for two British soldiers after an Iraqi civilian was reportedly killed and a police officer injured.
The two servicemen - believed to be undercover SAS officers - were detained after a confrontation on Monday.

UK troops later freed the soldiers from Iraqi custody after storming a police station in the southern Iraqi city.

Defence Secretary John Reid said no warrant had been received - and British personnel were immune from Iraqi laws.

"The MoD has not received any arrest warrant relating to any British personnel in Iraq," he said.

"Iraqi law is very clear: British forces remain subject to British jurisdiction.

"Even if such a warrant was issued, it would therefore be of no legal effect."

British forces spokesman Major Steve Melbourne said the two men had immunity from prosecution under an arrangement between the Iraqi government and coalition forces.

But he said the UK would "work closely" with the Iraqi investigation team, and with the Iraqi government.

"This has started and we'll see what comes from that into the events of Monday night."

However, the judge told the BBC he was not convinced the two men were British and therefore would not be immune from arrest and possible prosecution in Iraq.

BBC correspondent Richard Galpin said that if the men were found guilty of deliberately killing an Iraqi civilian they could face life imprisonment.

It was widely believed that the soldiers on an intelligence mission in the city when they were challenged by Iraqi police officers, our correspondent said.

Iraqi police and the interior ministry say that the soldiers opened fire when challenged.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley said the issuing of the warrant indicated there was "a lot of local politicking going on".

"This judge knows that, certainly in some circles, what happened [on Monday] was extremely unpopular," she said.

News of the warrant follows a week in which authorities in Basra said they would not co-operate with UK troops.

Basra's governor, Mohammed al-Waili, said there would be no co-operation until there was an apology for the raid to free the soldiers.

The UK has defended its action, saying the soldiers were handed to militiamen by rogue elements in the police, but Interior Minister Baqir Solagh Jabr has denied this.

British troops have reduced their presence on the Iraqi city's streets.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and Mr Reid said the unrest had not strained relations between the two countries.
actually quite sad that the frickin media got wind of this and will now try and warp humanities eyes with their own version as to what really happened. We fought crap like this in Nam and elsewhere, and it continues today
Not really, they put the story up in the light for a few days, now nothing. I'm amazed by the tank commander that abandoned his position when it was assault by the mob.

Iraq has issued warrants for a few other British troops after this one. I'm quite amazed they even bother, like Britain will hand anyone over. It just proves the Iraqis will smile to your face and shoot you in the back, the Iraqi police had handed the two lads over to the local insurgent militia - that's why the British forces had to break-in to the police station. They had to find out where they were and rescue them before the scum beheaded them and made a big deal about beheading these lads.

Did anyone see the kit they had on them? And I heard the Iraqi police fired on them first. So ...just goes to show leader is destroyed ...a democracy is formed ...but it's still a scumhole.
I think the commanders who launched what ever they where doing want a swift kick up the arse they keep sending in special forces into untenable situations they where not in the desert but trying to be inconspicuous in a busy town, which for westerners in a middle eastern environment is very hard. Even T E Lawrence had major problems and he was fluent in language and customs and had many Arab friends to help hide him so I blame the knobs in charge for putting them in that situation. (it ain't Northern Ireland)
I know. It was extremely stupid ...but I suppose it has to be done to some extent. I imagine a lot pretend to be media or aid workers - unless the anti-military factions forbid this under 'law'.
Possibly D but not many aid workers or media bods walk around carrying automatic weapons concealed or not
I know. But I suppose they're out of options over there. I reckon British High Command wish the problem was back in Northern Ireland least then the SAS lads can blend in.

All I'm fussed about is the British governments less than firm view. Tony Blair himself should have given the Iraqi government a firm no and stated with no sugar coating that they were British troops and thus were under British law, not Iraqi law. And will not be handed over nor will they be investigated as they were acting in self-defence, just how they were trained.
Over the last two days On the box the have been three programs one with a journalist embedded with the British one with a guy out with the US forces one from the states in Ohio looking at the families of returning and KIA troops.

The British only allowed the officers to make comments but off camera the troops are still having trouble with stoppages on their poxy SA80's, their boots are still melting and the Land Rovers don't stop pussy when the are attacked. Nearly all patrols just go through the towns without stopping apart from a few select areas and the infrastructure is worse than just after the invasion.
The officer was trying to say and demonstrate how they are training up the locals to take over, but in the images I saw the police couldn't even march in step let alone control the area and the rate of desertions due to intimidation made it a hopeless task.
There was a ten man unit with a few local guides trying to patrol 300miles of boarder to prevent insurgence infiltration much of which is assisted by the Bedouin tribes. I bet they feel totally overwhelmed but the task.

In the US program a road side explosive had been detonated in one of the US areas so it was decided to bring up a self propelled and shell a nearby Palm Grove this they did over night lobbing in a round every 15mins the next day the troops went into the village next door and handed out sweets and presents say how they needed to know the where abouts of the Ali Babar's, when a local elder said he had tried to contact the police to inform them of the insurgence in the area but the mobile link was down. The Officer in command said to this guy if you had democracy in Iraq you could change phone companies. (very weird).

And in the final program many of the families in Ohio seemed to be getting mightily pissed off with Bush, they supported their sons and daughters 210% but they expressed grave miss givings as to what the troops etc goals are and felt it was time to withdraw. One woman who lost her son said she was sickened by Bush trying to ban photos of the coffins being returned home, unlike in Regan's day when he was on the scene to honour the fallen. The father of a Son who died said he wanted to see what had been achieved but other than removal Saddam he could find nothing to warrant the death of his son that had occurred over a year after the invasion.

I know the media is very fond of putting there own slant on things but each program was made by a different TV company and it did appear from the info given, that things are not moving forward, and if they are not fast enough for the public back home, and the progress thus far made will be undermined by withdrawal forced on the governments by public opinion.
Personally I am not sure what the best thing to do is as I am not on the ground.

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