Britain said on Friday that its troops and military hardware were about to be withdrawn from the Gulf region, including the HMS Ark Royal.
In a written statement to the House of Commons, British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said ships, planes, helicopters and field hospital units would shortly be withdrawn along with some of the Ark Royal's accompanying ships.
HMS Marlborough, HMS Liverpool and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship GreyRover would now deploy to the Far East to take part in exercises, Hoon said in a statement to the lawmakers.
"A number" of fixed wing jets and helicopters would be withdrawn, starting with the return of Tornado F3 aircraft over the next few days, Hoon said.
"In the near term, the medical capacity in the region means that we can now withdraw 33 Field Hospital and RFA Argus," he said, adding that 34 Field Hospital and 202 Field Hospital (Volunteer) would "remain in the Gulf region for the time being."
"It is our policy to deploy personnel on operations for no longer than is necessary to achieve our military objectives," Hoonsaid.
"We will, therefore, continue to adjust our forces deployed to the Gulf as appropriate, withdrawing units whose tasks are complete, and in due course replacing those whose tasks continue," he added, "For example, elements of 101 Logistics Brigade will replace their counterparts in 102 Logistics Brigade during early May."
"We have no plans to deploy significant additional forces," Hoon stressed.
Earlier, British Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told a news conference here that some servicemen and women had already returned and others would return shortly.
"This is by no means the beginning of a full scale reduction," he said, "Our commitment to Iraq's future is undiminished and we are in the very early stages of beginning to look at the post-conflict phase."
Britain, the firmest US ally in this ongoing war against Iraq, has committed about 45,000 troops to the conflict.