After more than six years of fighting, the UK has today announced the successful completion of their combat mission in Basra and the withdrawal of British troops from southern Iraq.

Having already drawn down the divisional headquarters a month ago, the UK forces have handed over the coalition brigade command to US forces to mark the transition from a combat mission to focusing on helping the Iraqi Government rebuild.

UK Defence Secretary John Hutton joined forces stationed at the Contingency Operating Base (COB) outside Basra for a day of reflection, commemoration and celebration of British achievements in Iraq since Operation Telic was launched in 2003.

“The past six years have seen a heavy price paid,” said Hutton. “179 brave people have died in the service of their country on Operation Telic. But Iraq’s progress over the six years, no matter how uneven or uncertain it may have appeared at times, shows that their sacrifice has not been in vain.

“Following the peaceful elections in January, Basra has a new democratically elected and representative Provincial Council. Protected by the Iraqi Security Forces we have trained, the city finally has the chance to achieve its full potential. Basra is a better place for our men and women being there and I pay tribute to all of them,” he added.

The last day of the British mission was marked today by two main events; the official ‘transfer of authority’ to US forces, and a meeting between the defence minister and leaving military contingents as well as the few Royal Navy personnel who will be staying behind to continue to train the Iraqi Navy.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

By Daniel Garrun.