A ministry spokesman said the prince would be sent to Iraq with his "A Squadron of the Blues and Royals regiment" over the next few months as part of the latest British troop rotation. The prince could become the first member of the royal family to see frontline action since his uncle, theDuke of York, in the Falklands War in 1982. His great-grandfather, King George VI, saw action in World War I.
Britain's Prince Harry, who is third in line to the throne, is being deployed to Iraq where he will become the first British royal to serve in a war zone for 25 years. A defense ministry spokesman said on Thursday the red-haired prince would be sent to Iraq with his "A Squadron of the Blues and Royals" regiment over the next few months as part of the latest British troop rotation.
But the deployment of the younger son of the late Princess Diana may be a major security headache for military commanders as the prince could be a target for insurgents and a magnet for suicide bombers.
"This is like President Bush sending a son to the frontline. The decision is both dangerous and courageous at the same time," said Evening Standard royal correspondent Robert Jobson. "It is a success for Harry but he has become the number one target for insurgents." Harry could be the first member of the royal family to face combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War. Harry's great-grandfather, King George VI, saw action in World War I.
The announcement comes a day after Britain said it would be withdrawing almost a quarter of its 7,100 troops from Iraq in coming months. But British soldiers would remain in the country into 2008 if Iraq wanted them to provide support and training. Harry's regiment will leave for Iraq in May or June and could serve up to seven months there, Defense Secretary Des Browne said in a statement. The 22-year-old prince, who as a Second Lieutenant has the rank of Cornet in his regiment, had reportedly threatened to quit the army if not allowed to serve on the frontline. Harry, the younger son of Charles, the Prince of Wales, has trained to become troop commander and will be leading 12 men in four Scimitar armored reconnaissance vehicles. Urging media restraint on Harry's posting, the Defense Ministry said: Speculation about precisely where Cornet Wales will serve or the exact details of his role is potentially dangerous.
Harry, who once sparked international outrage for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, graduated from the elite Sandhurst military academy last year, saying he wanted to fight for his country as a frontline soldier. Harry has always said he wanted to put his training into practice. There is no way I am going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country, he said on his 21st birthday. "That may sound very patriotic, but it's true," said Harry, dubbed a royal wild child for underage drink and drugs antics. His elder brother Prince William is also in the Blues and Royals but is most unlikely to serve in a war zone because he is second-in-line to the throne. The pair won worldwide sympathy as forlorn children walking head bowed behind their mother's coffin at her funeral in 1997.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16