Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Italy to begin Iraq withdrawal in September | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Gleneagles, Scotland — Italy plans to begin withdrawing some of its troops from Iraq in September, Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Friday.

&#34We will begin withdrawing 300 men in the month of September,&#34 said Berlusconi, who has come under increasing pressure in Italy over the Iraq war in recent months.

However, he added that the decision would depend on security conditions on the ground and could change.

Berlusconi, a staunch ally of U.S. President George W. Bush, sent 3,000 troops to Iraq after the ouster of Saddam Hussein to help rebuild the country.

In recent months, Italian officials have gone back and forth on when a withdrawal might begin. The Associated Press quoted Berlusconi as saying that September was a possibility, but Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini then talked of early 2006.