British troops will pull out of the notorious Sangin district of Afghanistan's Helmand province to allow U.S. Marines to take over, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Wednesday.
The British forces will redeploy to the central part of Helmand, leading the task force with Danish and Estonian troops there, while U.S. troops are positioned in the northern and southern parts, Fox said.
"This will simplify current command arrangements," Fox told the House of Commons. "The result will be a coherent and equitable division of the main populated areas of Helmand between three brigade-size forces."
NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) closely consulted Britain about the plan, and British officials "fully support" it, Fox said.
"In Sangin, U.K. forces have made huge progress in the face of great adversity," he said. "The district center has been transformed. Helmand as a whole is a safer place as a result of our endeavors and sacrifices there."