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
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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