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IRAQ WAR -
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Poland to cut back its troops in Iraq in July: minister

Posted in the database on Friday, March 11th, 2005 @ 14:37:31 MST (1291 views)
from AFP  

Untitled Document WARSAW - Poland will withdraw "several hundred" of its troops from Iraq in July, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski was quoted as saying Friday.

"Currently, our mission involves stabilization and training, while after the first half of the year it will be more focused on training than on stabilization tasks, which require a smaller number of soldiers," Szmajdzinski told the Rzeczpospolita daily.

Poland, a close ally of the United States in the Iraqi conflict, controls an area south of Baghdad and commands a multinational force of around 4,000.

Following elections in Iraq on January 30, Warsaw cut its contingent from 2,400 to 1,700 soldiers.

Szmajdzinski said the Polish troops would initially transfer responsibility for Wassit Province to Iraqi forces, and later hand over control of Qadissiyah and Babil provinces



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