Monday, December 10, 2007

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By early next year, our contingent in Southern Iraq will be cut to 2,500 – and may be withdrawn completely in March.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

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