More troops for Iraq

22 October 2003
Singapore is to send soldiers, planes and ships to Iraq as part of the US-led peacekeeping operation, announced Prime Minister Tong on 22 October. Although the Defence Ministry would not confirm the size of the force being sent, it did say that a contingent of Hercules transport planes and landing ship tanks would form part of the deployment. Singapore added that the force would be 'a sizeable contingent with heavy equipment'. President Tong is a strong ally of Washington, and the announcement came soon after a meeting between US President Bush and Tong in Singapore. During his short visit, Bush also spoke to government officials on a wide range of issues including the war against terrorism, the situation in Iraq, regional security and stability, and responses to emerging diseases.

Soon after the announcement from Singapore, senior US Defence Department officials said that more National Guard and reserve forces would be notified in coming weeks that they may have to serve in non-combatant roles in Iraq in the coming year. 'I am sure we are not looking at any more combat units,' said vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace. 'There will be units that do logistics and the like that need to be notified.'

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