Basra city council says it will not cooperate with British troops occupying the southern Iraq city after British troops raided a Basra police station, killing seven Iraqis.
Nearly a thousand British troops, supported by armoured vehicles and Iraqi forces took part in the raid in the early hours of Christmas morning.
After the raid British army engineers demolished the Jamiat police station, which housed Basra’s Serious Crimes Unit.
The action has provoked anger among Basra’s civil authorities.
British military spokesman, Major Burbridge said the raid went ahead after intelligence was received indicating that the Serious Crimes Unit was about to start executing some of the 127 prisoners it was holding.
However, two factors call into question the official British account.
First the timing of the raid: in military textbooks the early hours of Christmas morning were an ideal time to launch an attack, when they would have been least expected. The timing of the raid would also be unlikely to arouse protests among those who oppose Britain’s military presence in Iraq at home: two points that indicates some degree of fore thought and planning in the operation.
Even more significant though was a series of clashes in Basra in September last year, when the Iraqi police accused British troops of masquerading as “terrorists” and planting bombs.
Things came to a head when two British soldiers were captured and held after police claimed the two, dressed as Arabs, had opened fire on Iraqi police. They were then freed after British troops backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles raided the Basra police station where they were being held; the very same Jamiat police station that the British raided yesterday.
The British military authorities acknowledged that they were unable to give Basra’s authorities advance warning of the raid, in violation of agreements. But claim the intelligence of impending executions forced them to act sooner than anticipated.
According to the British military spokesman: ‘The Serious Crimes Unit has been removed. It was a very significant and nasty part of the police force which has been scaring people in Basra.
‘Their removal will make Basra a better place. It was a small part of the Iraqi police force, the body of the force is a good organisation.’
It is also understood that many files and computer records were seized before the police station was demolished. Prompting this writer to wonder: was this the real reason for the army’s raid? Did Basra’s Serious Crimes Unit hold evidence of British involvement in false flag terror attacks and was the raid an effort to destroy transcripts of interrogations with the two soldiers and their captured equipment?
Speaking to reporters, Major Burbridge failed to mention Iraqi accusations that British soldiers had been involved in false flag terror attacks.
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