(CNN) — Britain was withdrawing its troops Sunday from Iraq, ending a role that began with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, British defense officials said.
The announcement that Britain was withdrawing its 170 troops came days earlier by Liam Fox, the defense secretary, who said the troops had completed their mission to train Iraqi naval forces.
“We now look forward to a strong, long-term defense relationship with Iraq,” Fox told the House of Commons when he announced Wednesday that British troops would leave the country.
The announcement effectively ended Britain’s role in Iraq, a role that was widely unpopular in the United Kingdom. About 179 British troops were killed during operations in Iraq. read more