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For Immediate Release
May 5, 2003

Global Message


  • All Australians can be justly proud of the superb performance of Australia's air, naval and Special Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom. America is deeply grateful for their important contributions.

  • Prime Minister Howard has been a strong ally in the war on terror, and Australian forces have played an important role in the liberation of Iraq. Australian Special Forces entered Iraq with their American and British counterparts at the very beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • The Australian military helped to secure sites in western Iraq that could have been used to launch scud missiles. And they disrupted Iraqi troop movements and command posts, paving the way for Army and Marine units making their way to Baghdad.

  • Australia FA-18 fighters carried out deep bombing runs in Iraq. The Australian Navy worked with British forces to take control of the Faw Peninsula. Australian Navy divers cleared mines in the port of Umm Qasr, opening sea lanes to deliver humanitarian assistance. And Australian transport planes delivered emergency supplies and equipment for Iraqi hospitals.

  • All told, about 2,000 Australian service members contributed to the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime and the liberation of the Iraqi people.

  • Our coalition still has much work to do in Iraq. The transition from dictatorship to democracy is hard, and will take time -- but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done, then we will leave -- and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

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