Monday, December 5, 2011

US convoys leave Iraq under tribal protection

With less than a month to go, the US military wants to minimise last-minute dangers and has paid tribal fighters cash to help provide a safe exit from Iraq after more than eight years of war.

Much of the mighty US military machine is leaving Iraq by heading south to Kuwait down the main highway, a tempting target for Iran-backed militants.

From Contingency Operating Base Basra, to the north of the border with Kuwait, Colonel Douglas Crissman of the US army commands American forces in four southern Iraq provinces.

Under his supervision, soldiers prepare to hand the base to Iraqi forces in the coming days, but they also oversee security for US personnel and equipment slowly making their way down the road.

"We are continuing our mission and securing paths for our sisters and brothers," Crissman said, referring to US soldiers and personnel.

Fewer than 10,000 US military personnel are still in Iraq, while five bases still remain to be handed over.