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Soldiers pose in front of Mahmoon Palace, Tikrit, Iraq.

Mahmoon Palace {format} 3:24 Jake Warga

Recently, as part of the US draw-down in Iraq, the US base in Tikrit, "JCC" or Joint Coordination Center, was handed back to the Iraqis. Sergeant First Class George Havel, a soldier with 232 Regiment spent four months in Tikrit, helping to coordinate emergency services. Sargeant Havel gave journalist Jake Warga a tour of Mahmoon Palace, originally built to celebrate Saddam Husseinís birthdays. US forces had been occupying the palace up until the recent hand-over, living in its marbled halls under golden chandeliers.

Broadcast: Apr 7 2010 on PRI/WGBH/BBC The World Subjects: War