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Basra Turf Concerns Grow as Brits Pack Up

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Basra Turf Concerns Grow as Brits Pack Up

Iraq

Basra Turf Concerns Grow as Brits Pack Up

Basra Turf Concerns Grow as Brits Pack Up

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/14094407/14094377" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

British troops are due to leave their base in central Basra on Friday and move to an airbase 10 miles outside the city — a preliminary step before a full withdrawal from Iraq, which is expected by the end of the year.

There's increasing concern that the withdrawal of British troops will intensify a turf battle between Shiite groups which, in turn, could leave vulnerable a vital supply route for U.S. forces, as well as the southern oil fields and the Port of Basra.

Military analysts say the United States — already stretched thin in Iraq — most likely will have to send its troops to Basra.