21 October 2004 -- British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon today said that Britain has accepted a U.S. request for new military assistance in Iraq.
Speaking in London, Hoon said that some 650 troops currently serving in southern Iraq will be redeployed to flashpoint cities south of Baghdad to reinforce U.S. troops operating in those areas.
"After careful evaluation, the chiefs-of-staff have advised me that U.K. forces are able to undertake the proposed operation, that there is a compelling military operational justification for doing so, and that it entails a militarily acceptable level of risk for U.K. forces," Hoon said.
Hoon said the redeployment will last weeks, not months.
Hoon also said that London has no plans to increase the number of British soldiers in Iraq.