Australia pulls troops out of Iraq
By CNN's Grant Holloway in Sydney
CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) -- Australia has decided to begin pulling its troops out of Iraq from next month with only a handful of specialists likely to remain in the Middle East after June.
The government announced the withdrawal Thursday, adding that it was reluctant to commit peacekeeping troops to Iraq.
Australia sent around 2,000 troops to fight in the war against Iraq, including special forces, a commando unit, warships and a squadron of fighter bombers.
The Australian Special Air Services forces have been involved heavily in surveillance and reconnaissance missions inside Iraq while the squadron of F/A-18 Hornets have been flying close support missions for coalition ground troops.
The special forces have als