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Australian troops in Iraq return home mid-2008

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Australian troops in Iraq return home mid-2008

Post by shammy on Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:53 am


Rudd says troops will leave Iraq by mid-2008

About 550 Australian combat troops in Iraq should be withdrawn by about the middle of next year, Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said today, setting a broad timetable for the soldiers to return home.

Australia has about 1500 troops in and around Iraq, but Mr Rudd won power at Australia's national election with a promise to bring front-line forces home.

"The combat force in Iraq we would have home by around the middle of next year," Mr Rudd told Australian radio.

Mr Rudd promised a gradual withdrawal of the troops, but had been coy about setting a timetable for their return to Australia. The troops are based mainly in Iraq's more peaceful south, where they help to maintain security and train Iraqi forces.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, was one of the first countries to commit troops to the US-led invasion of Iraq, and the Howard government had been a strong supporter of the US mission in Iraq.


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