Gordon Brown declares War in Iraq is over, runs away with tail between legs....... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Gordon Brown declares War in Iraq is over, runs away with tail between legs.......

Happy Xmas, your war is over!

GORDON Brown yesterday delivered a stirring festive message to Our Boys in Iraq: “Happy Christmas – war is over.”

The PM was cheered as he praised UK troops and revealed combat operations in Basra will end “within two weeks”.

Iraqi forces will take over as the 4,500-strong British force switches from front-line duties to a training role.

By early next year, our contingent in Southern Iraq will be cut to 2,500 – and may be withdrawn completely in March.

The PM broke the good news in a flying visit to Iraq.

He landed at the Army’ s base at Basra airport in darkness in an RAF Hercules transporter plane.

Minutes later he spoke to Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.

He then gave a rousing speech to 300 squaddies after shaking hands with them all.

To warm applause, he told them the region – the last under British control in Iraq – would be handed back to the Iraqis in a fortnight.

He said: “The Prime Minister of Iraq has asked me to pass on his thanks to you for helping to rebuild the democracy of Iraq.

“This is because of the operations over the last month that you have been involved in.

“The security situation has not only improved, but he is able to tell me he will now be recommending a move to a provisional Iraqi control within two weeks.


“Iraqis can take far more control of their country.”

Mr Brown quoted Sir Winston Churchill and Field Marshal Montgomery as he thanked Our Boys for their “courage and bravery”.

He said: “The British people are so grateful for all you do . . . we are incredibly proud of what you have done. The whole British people are proud of everything you achieved here “Thank you very much and happy Christmas to you all.”

Since Our Boys withdrew from Basra’s city centre and palace to the airport a few miles away back in September attacks on them have fallen by 90 per cent.

They have been helping to train 30,000 police and armed forces during rebuilding operations.

It is thought they will only be recalled to the front if there is a major post-handover incident coupled with a direct plea from Iraqi generals.

Several hundred may be stationed in neighbouring Kuwait early next year.

Before flying out, Mr Brown insisted five Brits kidnapped in Iraq’s capital Baghdad in May must be freed immediately.

The kidnappers warned last week the men will be killed unless troops are withdrawn, but Mr Brown said he would not be forced into changing his policies in the country.

He added: “The taking of hostages is completely unacceptable. We are demanding the immediate release.”

MR Brown could do a “Maggie” and defy the latest polls to win the next election, his closest ally claimed yesterday.

Children’s Secretary Ed Balls said Margaret Thatcher led the Tories out of the Westland helicopter crisis and the loss of Cabinet ministers in 1986 to a landslide general election victory in 1987.

Gordon Brown | Festive Xmas message | 'Your Iraq war is over!' | The Sun |HomePage|News
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