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DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004®

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Spain's contingent with the US-led forces occuyping Iraq is the sixth largest, making up the bulk of a battalion of Spanish-speaking troops based in a Shiite-dominated region south of Baghdad.

If prime minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero carries out his threat to bring them home it will leave a sizeable hole in the coalition's strength.

Less than three weeks ago outgoing foreign minister Ana Palacio said Spain was pondering whether to take over command from Poland of the multinational force stationed in southern central Iraq after July 1, reinforcing its personnel by about 1,000.

The Spanish forces have suffered 11 deaths, including seven intelligence agents ambushed in November.

Following are the foreign contingents occupying Iraq, with their current strengths:

1. United States: 130,000
2. Britain: 9,000
3. Italy: 3,000
4. Poland: 2,460
5. Ukraine: 1,600
6. Spain: 1,300
7. Netherlands: 1,100
8. Australia: 800
9. Romania: 700
10. Bulgaria: 480
11. Thailand: 440
12. Denmark: 420
13. Honduras: 368
14. El Salvador: 361
15. Dominican Republic: 302
16. Hungary: 300
17. Japan: 240 (rising to 550 by the end of March)
18. Norway: 179
19. Mongolia: 160
20. Azerbaijan: 150
21. Portugal: 128
22. Latvia: 120
23. Lithuania: 118
24. Nicaragua: 113
25. Slovakia: 102
26. Czech Republic: 80
27. Philippines: 80
28. Albania: 70
29. Georgia: 70
30. New Zealand: 61
31. Moldova: 50
32. Estonia: 31
33. Macedonia: 37
34. Kazakhstan: 25

END





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