Statement following the Basra helicopter crash

How many more Iraqi, UK and US deaths are to follow before the occupation of Iraq is brought to an end? The Minstry of Defence admit that they have no control in Basra and the surrounding region, that they are confined to barracks with only the occasional foray in helicopters since the roads are too dangerous. This is a farce and, for the lives of the five airmen in the crashed helicopter and the Iraqis killed in the firefight on the ground, a bloody farce. How many more times must we call for an end to this occupation? Stop the War Coalition and a growing number of military families and military experts demand answers to these questions and for those responsible to be brought to account.

"We have lost the consent of the people of Iraq to be in their country. The troops should be withdrawn immediately."

Ben Griffin (ex SAS trooper who served in Baghdad)

"My son died for no reason and now other mothers have to face this fact. My sympathy goes out to the loved ones of those killed in the helicopter downed in Basra and to the families of the Iraqis who were killed in the ensuing firefight. Enough is enough. Bring the troops home now."

Rose Gentle (mother of Gordon Gentle, killed in Iraq)

"The situation in Basra has not changed overnight. Something like today's crash, and then large numbers of soldiers on the streets, triggers an underlying resentment that our troops are basically occupying forces."

Major Charles Heyman, (defence analyst and editor of The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom)

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