Britain is cancelling its plans to withdraw some 1,500 troops from Iraq because of the recent surge in violence in the southern region of the war-torn country.
British Defence Secretary Des Browne was expected to make the announcement Tuesday in the House of Commons.
The country has about 4,100 troops in Iraq, most of them stationed outside the southern oil port city of Basra, which had been relatively peaceful until last week.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said late last year that he hoped to reduce the number of soldiers in the area to 2,500 this spring. British troops, who were sent to Basra in 2003, had already pulled out of the city proper, relocating to a nearby airbase and handing security responsibilities over to Iraqi police in December.
But British troops were pulled back into battle on the weekend, after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered a crackdown Shia militant fighters in Basra last week. Hundreds have been killed since then, as Iraqi troops have clashed with followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Basra, as well other southern cities and Baghdad.
U.S. forces have also launched air strikes in Basra.
Basra stabilizing, Iraqi PM says
But on Tuesday, al-Maliki said the situation in Basra is improving and he declared the operation to clear fighters from the city a success.
He said in a written statement that the government will recruit 10,000 more police officers and soldiers to enhance security in Basra.
Al-Maliki's statement came after al-Sadr struck a peace deal with the government.