Australia, one of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago, has ended its operations there.
Australian troops are due to begin returning home in a few days in line with a promise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who swept to power in November. He said the Iraq deployment was making Australia more of a terrorist target.
The Australians had deployed more than 500 troops in Iraq, helping to train some 33,000 Iraqi soldiers. About 300 Australians will remain inside Iraq on logistical and air surveillance duties. No Australian soldiers were killed in combat in Iraq though several were wounded.
Not that 500 men staying is making a lot of difference but them leaving it will make!