BAGHDAD, (AP) – The last of Britain’s military forces have withdrawn from Iraq after more than eight years of fighting militants and training security forces.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the British Royal Navy on Sunday handed over its mission of patrolling waters off the southern Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr on the Persian Gulf.
Al-Dabbagh said 80 British sailors had been helping to train Iraq’s Navy. He said that role now will be filled by American sailors through the end of the year.
British forces were part of the initial 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted Saddam Hussein. Combat troops withdrew from Iraq in July 2009.
The British Ministry of Defense says 179 British troops have died in Iraq since 2003.