Rats Abandoning a Sinking Ship? -- OZ Pulling Troops Out of IraqSubmitted by lastmovement on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 04:48
The Defence Force in southern Iraq formally handed its commitment to the United States and lowered the Australian flag above Camp Terendak, at the US-run air base Tallil, at a ceremony yesterday morning.
The handover, which fulfils the Rudd Government's election commitment to withdraw Australia's combat troops from a deeply divisive war, was based on an agreement between Australian and US commanders.
About 550 soldiers, who have been overseeing Iraqi security forces in two southern provinces as well as training Iraqi troops and police, will begin returning to Australia.
The Government confirmed last night that the handover had occurred. AAP reported that troops from the Overwatch Battle Group had already left Iraq and landed in Brisbane yesterday.