[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 29 November, 2003, 21:55 GMT
Foreign troops in Iraq

BBC News Online looks at where key countries stand on the deployment of troops in Iraq.

There are 24,000 non-US foreign troops in Iraq. According to the US, 27 countries are involved.

But some countries may be reconsidering their position in the light of continuing attacks against the occupation forces. Japan has decided to postpone sending troops until 2004.

Click on the countries below to see where they stand.

United States
The US has nearly 132,000 troops in Iraq. Along with Iraqi security forces, they are responsible for all of the north and west of the country, and much of the centre, including Baghdad.

Troop deployments are down from a high of about 150,000 during the war.

The Pentagon has said it plans to reduce the number of American troops to about 105,000 by mid-2004.

US forces are taking almost daily casualties. A US commander says there are about 30 attacks a day on coalition forces.

Congress has agreed to spend a further $51bn to fund the US military presence in Iraq, whose cost is running at nearly $4bn per month.

Politically the deaths of US personnel and the cost of the war could be very damaging to President George W Bush in the run-up to the presidential election next November.

Mr Bush hoped that a United Nations Security Council resolution passed in October would encourage other nations to contribute troops to Iraq.

United Kingdom
The UK has at least 10,000 soldiers in Iraq and is sending about 1,200 more. UK forces lead a multinational force in the far south of Iraq where the lack of security is not as severe as in Baghdad and to the north of the capital.

Other countries working with UK troops include Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, the Czech Republic and New Zealand.

UK officials have said their troop commitments to Iraq are long term. Prime Minster Tony Blair strongly supports an increased UK role in Iraqi reconstruction and peacekeeping.

Polish soldiers are commanding a 9,000-strong 21-nation force in the south-central region of Iraq - in a zone between the US and UK-led areas.

Poland is contributing more than 2,000 troops to the force.

Poland, along with most of the former communist countries of central Europe and the Balkans, was a firm supporter of the US-led attack on Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And alone among continental European countries, Poland sent a small military contingent to fight there during the war.

Spain has about 1,300 troops in Iraq, working with the Polish-led zone.

It was a key supporter of the US-led invasion of Iraq, but faced with hostile public reaction at home, it did not contribute troops to the invasion itself.

France strongly opposed military action in Iraq.

It has not ruled out sending peacekeeping forces at a later stage, but it first wants to see a swift handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people and a much stronger role for the United Nations.

Germany has ruled out sending troops to Iraq, saying it does not have the capacity.

It already has 10,000 troops committed in peacekeeping operations around the world, and has pledged to expand its peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, where it already has 1,800 troops.

Ukraine has contributed about 1,000 troops, putting it among the largest contributors of non-US forces. It is working under Polish command in south-central Iraq.

There are more about 2,400 Italians operating in southern Iraq in the UK-led multinational force.

On 12 November, 16 Italian military and police personnel were killed in a suicide attack on Italian police headquarters in Nasiriya.

It was the single biggest loss of life for a member of the coalition since the start of the war in Iraq in March - and Italy's largest military losses to hostile action since World War II.

Portugal sent 128 elite police officers to Iraq on the same day as the bombing of the Italian base station in Nasiriya.

The force was due to head to that base, which is in the UK-led zone, but has temporarily been sent to Basra instead, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the south-east.

Russia has not ruled out sending peacekeepers to Iraq, but like France, it would want an appropriate UN Security Council resolution to be passed. Russia wants to see a much stronger role for the UN.

In a major blow for the US, Turkey has withdrawn an offer to send up to 10,000 military personnel to Iraq.

The offer had been controversial - highly unpopular with Iraqis and the Turkish public.

Some members of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council said they would not accept troops from any neighbouring state on its soil.

Turkey would have been the first mainly Muslim nation to send a sizeable force to Iraq.

More than 2,000 Australian troops fought alongside American and British troops in the campaign. The Canberra government is facing a congressional inquiry into the intelligence that led it to send troops to Iraq and allegations that it exaggerated the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Prime Minister John Howard said his country would not be sending peacekeepers to Iraq, even if the UN backed the idea of a multinational force.

Japan has said it will delay sending any troops until some time in 2004 because of the security situation in Iraq.

Its troops would be intended for humanitarian work, since Japanese forces are barred from armed combat except in self-defence, under the country's pacifist constitution.

The Japanese parliament in July approved the deployment of up to 1,000 personnel to help with reconstruction in Iraq, in what would be the largest deployment of Japanese troops overseas since World War II.

The deployment would include about 700 peacekeepers and 300 logistical support staff.

South Korea
South Korea has said it will send no more than 3,000 troops to Iraq, far fewer than Washington had reportedly requested.

It is reported that the US asked for more than 5,000 troops. There was talk of South Korea leading a multinational division, to replace the US 101st airborne division.

The Philippines has sent 178 soldiers, policemen and social and health workers to Iraq. They are based in the south-central zone administered by Polish forces.

The Philippines Government is a key US ally and has said it plans to increase the size of its contingent to 500 by early 2004.

About 400 Thai troops are stationed in the central Iraqi city of Karbala, carrying out humanitarian and reconstruction work.

Bangladesh may contribute peacekeeping troops at a later stage - but only under the flag of the United Nations.

Bangladesh has vast experience of peacekeeping and uses such missions to promote its image abroad. It is committing troops in Liberia and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pakistan would be likely to contribute troops to a multinational peacekeeping force, but only if it was led by the United Nations rather than the US.

India has said it would consider deploying troops if there was an explicit UN mandate.

India also wants:

  • Differentiation between the multinational force and occupying US-led coalition forces
  • The multinational force to be deployed after a request from the Iraqi people.


    News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
    UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
    Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific