Sunday, June 1, 2008

Australian Troops & Iraq situation

I am actually trying to find a reliable source to find which of our allies have troops involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyone has links, please share. Meanwhile this news has been in the media today and here is a bit from the USATODAY website (please check their site for article)

Australian troops end combat operations

BAGHDAD (AP) — Australia announced it had ended combat operations in Iraq on Sunday and was pulling out its troops. The nation is a staunch U.S. ally and was one of the first to commit troops to Iraq five years ago.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was swept into office in November largely on the promise that he would bring home the country's 550 combat troops by the middle of 2008.

Several hundred other troops will remain in Iraq to act as security and headquarters liaisons and to guard diplomats. Australia will also leave behind two maritime surveillance aircraft and a warship to help patrol oil platforms in the Gulf.

The combat troops are expected to return home over the next few weeks. Local media reports said the first of the soldiers had already landed in Australia on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy in Baghdad during Sunday morning rush hour, killing at least two civilians and wounding five, police said.