London (AP) Britain's Ministry of Defense confirms that its troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq in March and will mostly be gone by June.
Britain has about 4,000 troops in southern Iraq. The Ministry says it will begin withdrawing them after regional elections planned for next month and the number that will fall to 300-400 by midyear.
A U.S. Brigade will replace the British force at Basra airport, defense officials told British media in a briefing Tuesday. It confirms reports of the briefing to the Associated Press.
A new U.S.-Iraqi security pact calls for 150,000 American troops to be withdrawn from Iraq in two stages by the end of 2011. Iraq's parliament has yet to ratify a new status of forces agreement with Britain.
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