Britain Closes Chapter in Iraq
Combat Mission Formally Ends A Month Early
By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 1, 2009
LONDON, April 30 -- British combat operations in Iraq formally ended Thursday, a month ahead of schedule, winding down a six-year mission that cost the lives of 179 British troops and was deeply unpopular in Britain.
"Today, Iraq is a success story. We owe much of that to the efforts of British troops," Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at his 10 Downing Street office.
"Our mission has not always been an easy one; many have said that we would fail," Brown said. "Britain can be proud of our legacy that we leave there."