Poachers praised for role in Iraq

Army boss speaks of pride for soldiers of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment

As around 100 Bedfordshire soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment near the halfway point of their operational tour in Iraq, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Simon Browne has spoken of his pride in them.

"It is a different Basra from the one we left behind at the end of our last operational tour in 2006," he said. "Iraq, and in

particular Basra, has changed out of all recognition and all the changes are positive.

"Areas which were virtual no-go areas are now peaceful and the locals accept our presence, with them at worst being ambivalent towards us, whilst the vast majority are pretty positive about our presence."

Iraqi Security Forces are now taking the lead in maintaining

security, with the 'Poachers' in a supporting role.

Lt Col Browne added: "I cannot stress enough the change I see on a daily basis – it is staggering and the majority of it is very much driven by the example our soldiers are showing to their Iraqi colleagues.

"What really makes it happen is the good old Poachers charm; it has created an incredible bond of trust and respect between them and the Iraqi Army."

British-led projects in southern Iraq have helped deliver enough

electricity to supply 800,000 people and water for over a