Britain's defense secretary says the level of violence in the southeastern Iraqi province of Basra is still not acceptable. But he says it's at a point where only the Iraqis can improve the situation.
Defense Secretary Des Browne made the comments as he confirmed that British-led forces will turn over security to Iraqis in the predominantly Shiite province in mid-December.
British-led forces have already pulled back from the center of the provincial capital to the airport outside the city, about 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.
But Browne says the British will remain prepared to help the Iraqis when needed.
Basra will be the ninth province to revert to Iraqi control.