British troops last day in Iraq as they hand area over to the US
Today is the day British troops pull out of all combat missions in Basra and Iraq.
Right now there are 3,700 Brit troops in the country. At 12.15 after a ceremony the authority will be handed to American troops and they will take control of Basra.
The move, a month ahead of schedule, ends a six-year UK military presence.
British forces are to end combat operations in Iraq today - a month early - in a move that means they are finally returning home after more than six years.
A ceremony formally transferring authority to the Iraqis will take place at 12.15pm.
The drawdown of the bulk of the 3,700 UK troops remaining in Iraq will now speed up in the coming days.
In Downing Street, Gordon Brownsaid Britain and Iraq had begun a "long-term parterniship of equals".
After talks with Iraqi counterpart Prime Minister Nouri al Malikii Mr Brown said: "Today we are taking steps to strengthen and deepen our relationship and to make it a long-term partnership of equals.
"Today marks the closing chapter of the combat mission in Iraq. The flag of 20 Armoured Brigade will be lowered as British combat patrols in Basra come to an end and our armed forces prepare to draw down."