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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says ‘fighting has set Syria back decades’

Soldiers pose with their unit’s flag at a base near Nasiriyah before their departure

As the troops pull out, what kind of Iraq has America left behind?

Not long after the "liberation" of 2003, the US-led coalition was preparing the Iraqi public for their ultimate departure. A television advert showed a bunch of boys in an excited football match, while their parents looked on with fond smiles – the portrait of a happy and contented land. In a swirl of dust, came Western troops in their armoured cars; they stopped beside the young players for a brief exchange of greetings, and then the convoy disappeared into the desert.

Soldiers prepare the last convoy carrying US troops at Camp Adder on the outskirts of Nasiriyah, marking the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

Last US troops elated to leave Iraq

The last US soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighboring Kuwait at daybreak today, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief. Their convoy's exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered, with troubling questions lingering over whether the Arab nation will remain a steadfast US ally.

Opec cartel finally agrees new quotas

Brent crude tumbled by more than $2 a barrel after Opec agreed to maintain oil production at its present, relatively high, level next year. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed a new supply target of 30 million barrels a day.

Rocket attack on Iraq-Kuwait border escalates tensions

Tensions between Iraq and Kuwait appear to have escalated to violence after several rockets struck the border area between the two countries, where a controversial new mega-port project is under construction.

A Day That Shook The World: Iraq invades Kuwait

On 2 August 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces, battle-hardened by eight years of war with Iran, crossed the border with Kuwait and swiftly overran its meagre armed forces.

Revealed: The CIA mastermind who cornered Bin Laden

He has never been photographed, and his surname is unknown. But 'John' led an extraordinary 10-year mission

Snakes-on-a-plane pair held at airport

Airport authorities say they have detained two men who attempted to smuggle 40 pythons on board a flight to Dubai.

Cameron discovers an ethical foreign policy

David Cameron was forced to recalibrate his approach towards authoritarian regimes across the Middle East yesterday as he put democratic reform ahead of winning trade orders for the first time.

Operation Desert Storm: 20 years on today. 20 lessons learnt

Politicians, soldiers, reporters and civilians reflect on the legacy of the first Gulf War

Patrick Cockburn: Beware your enemy's stupidity

History is full of examples of experts being dumbfounded by countries acting contrary to their own best interests

Robert Winston's Musical Analysis, Radio 4<br/>A Quiet Invasion, Radio 4

Oh my, Mr Rachmaninov! What big hands you have...

US Army charges Wikileaks suspect

The US Army has charged an American soldier suspected of leaking a military video of an attack in Iraq with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data and putting national security at risk.

Legacy of Gulf War and border dispute continue to dog relations with Kuwait

Twenty years after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, tensions between the two countries continue to run high over borders, war reparations and civil disputes that culminated this week in the closure of Iraq's state airline.

National airline the latest victim of Iraq's poisoned relations with Kuwait

Iraq's government has dissolved its state airline Iraqi Airways in the latest move of a bitter dispute with Kuwait over war reparations allegedly owed since Saddam Hussein's invasion of the emirate in 1990.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
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Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

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It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

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Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

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