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Argos Media

BBC NEWS | UK | UK combat operations end in Iraq - 0 views

  • A ceremony is being held in Basra to mark the official end of the six-year British military presence in Iraq.

    UK combat operations will finish when 20 Armoured Brigade hand over to a US brigade at a "flagdown ceremony".

  • The end of combat operations comes a month ahead of schedule.
  • Mr Brown, who held talks with Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki at Downing Street, said: "Today Iraq is a success story. We owe much of that to the efforts of British troops. Our mission has not always been an easy one, many have said that we would fail.

    "Britain can be proud of our legacy that we leave there."

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  • UK's Operation Telic
  • Opposition leader David Cameron has called for an immediate full inquiry into the Iraq war, similar to the one carried out by the Franks Committee into the Falklands conflict.
  • Asked about the UK presence in Iraq, the country's president, Jalal Talabani, told BBC News: "This is a mission of liberation. For the first time British forces in Iraq are playing this role.

    "In the past the British forces came to occupy against the will of the Iraqi people. This time they came here to liberate Iraqi people from the worst kind of dictatorship."

Argos Media

BBC NEWS | UK | UK troops begin Iraqi withdrawal - 0 views

  • British forces are due to begin their official withdrawal from Iraq as the UK's commander in the south of the country hands over to a US general.
  • Most of Britain's 4,000 troops will leave by 31 May, the official end-of-combat date.

    About 400 will stay after that, either in HQ roles or to train the Iraq Navy.

  • The Americans are also reducing their numbers, with two brigades due to leave the province of Al-Anbar, once the heartland of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    However, the bulk of US troops are not due to leave until the end of 2011.

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