Iraq’s has met the British defence minister in London against the backdrop of rising tensions over a controversial rescue mission in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Ibrahim Jaafari and John Reid said there was no crisis in relations, although Baghdad disputes Britain’s of the Basra events and has ordered a full inquiry.
John Reid said: “We will not cut and run, and we will not leave the job half-done. We will stand by Iraq when times are tough, and we will be a committed friend, not a fair-weather friend.” Iraqi police staged a protest against the operation carried out on Monday. Around 200 officers from the station damaged in the incident marched through the streets, denouncing what they called “British terrorists.” The local governor has called Britain’s actions “barbaric.” The operation was ordered to rescue two undercover officers believed to have been jailed and then handed over to a dangerous militia group. Troops used an armoured vehicle to storm the jail in a bid to find the soldiers. The mission was launched after rioting which local officials say began when the two disguised officers fired on a police patrol.