Backtracking on comments which have kicked up a political storm in the UK over Iraq, the head of Britain’s armed forces has spoken out over an interview he did with the Daily Mail newspaper, which said his troops were making the situation worse in the war-torn country.
General Sir Richard Dannatt has said that his comment that the British Army should pull out of Iraq was taken out of context. As was his suggestion that the UK government’s aim of creating a liberal democracy there was “naive”: “I have to say that although a tremendous amount has been made of what was extracted from a very long interview that I gave two or three days ago and has been presented as being quite sensational and a major rift between the Head of the Army and the Defence Secretary and the Head of the Army and the Prime Minister, I am afraid I never intended it in that way and it is not the way I see it”.
Dannatt added that his soldiers had achieved a lot in Iraq and that it was important that they complete their mission alongside their American allies. The British Army has maintained its troops will stay in the country until local forces, who requested their assistance, can cope on their own.