There are reports Shia militia, who are loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, have taken over the Basra police compound seizing computers and even cars. British soldiers are in the process of leaving and are now concentrating forces at two bases — Basra palace and the Basra Airport. As the British depart, Shiite militia forces will take over sections of the city once guarded by the British. There is indication some of the 5,500 British troops may be redeployed to Afghanistan. Most likely, about 3000 American troops will be sent to replace the British in Basra.
The ironic aspect of this episode in which British troops are leaving Iraq to go to Afghanistan is that critics argued four years ago to focus on Afghanistan, not Iraq.