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Thursday, February 12, 2009

El Salvador completes troop withdrawals from Iraq

The last 200 Salvadoran soldiers deployed to Iraq returned home to El Salvador on Saturday, February 7th.

Stationed in Al Kut, on the Tigris River near the Iranian border, the Salvadoran contingent was attached to Polish soldiers and was chiefly tasked with building schools, hospitals, roads and water and electricity infrastructure.

El Salvador was the only Latin American country with troops in Iraq after the Dominican Republic and Honduras pulled their troops out in 2004, following Spain's lead.

More than 2000 Salvadoran troops had been deployed since the first contingent was sent to Iraq in 2003. Ultimately 5 Salvadoran soldiers died and 20 were wounded during their term of service.

Here's a 6 minute excerpt from Guerra Ajena (Foreign War), an hour-long documentary on the Salvadoran troops in Iraq, which aired on Discovery Channel Spanish edition in 2007. Or go to this YouTube link.