UK Forces (Iraq)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:16 pm on 21st October 2004.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence 1:16 pm, 21st October 2004

May I make two points clear to my hon. Friend? First, whatever operations follow will be combined operations, involving Iraqi forces, led by an Iraqi decision-making process, but with support from US forces. Those will be consistent with the sorts of operations that I have already described to the House—operations to deal with centres of terrorism and areas that are outside the control of the Interim Government and providing a base from which terrorists can attack innocent Iraqi civilians and other innocent civilians operating in Iraq. Secondly, if we do not deal with those secure bases, it is much more difficult to see a secure, stable future for Iraq, and very difficult to see how democratic elections can safely be held.