Italy to Withdraw Troops From Iraq

January 22, 2006

Italy announced on January 19 that it will withdraw 1,000 of its 2,600 troops in Iraq by June, and is preparing for a full pull-out by the end of this year.

Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino made the statement to a parliamentary committee, saying Italy will "gradually end" its military presence and phase into a new type of presence he said would be "substantially civilian in nature".

Italy, has been the fourth largest foreign contingent in Iraq. Most Italians and all opposition parties were opposed to the troop deployment, according to press surveys conducted this year.