Australia will not withdraw its troops from Iraq to save the life of a hostage taken captive there, Prime Minister John Howard has said. He was speaking after the broadcast of a video featuring a man who identifies himself as Douglas Wood, 63. Wood is the first Australian confirmed as a captive in Iraq and shown in a militant video. At gunpoint, he pleads with his country to pull its troops out of Iraq. He makes the same appeal to authorities in Britain and the United States.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard however has ruled out a troop withdrawal. “We will continue to do all we can consistent with our position of not giving in to hostage-takers,” he said. “We can’t alter that position and we won’t alter that position. “We can’t have the foreign policy of this country dictated by terrorists.” A staunch US ally, Australia is, in fact, sending extra troops to the region. The reinforcements will take the total number of Australian soldiers in and around Iraq to some 1,400.