Terrified Iraqi soldiers who thought the war had already started, crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces, according to a report in the London Sunday Mirror.
The drama unfolded last Monday, when a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested mortars and artillery weapons to make sure they were working. The Iraqis found a way across the fortified border, which is sealed off with barbed-wire fencing, watchtowers and huge trenches.
Advertisement - story continues below
The stunned troops were forced to tell the Iraqis they weren't firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country, telling them it was too early to surrender.
"The British guys on the front-line could not believe what was happening. They were on pre-war exercises when all of a sudden these Iraqis turned up out of nowhere, with their hands in the air,
saying they wanted to surrender.
TRENDING: Trial by jury ... sort of
"They had heard firing and thought it was the start of the war,'' a British Army source in Kuwait told the Mirror.
''The Paras are a tough, battle-hardened lot but were moved by the plight of the Iraqis. There was nothing they could do other than send them back. ''They were a motley bunch and you could barely describe them as soldiers – they were poorly equipped and didn't even have proper boots. Their physical condition was dreadful and they had obviously not had a square meal for ages. No one has ever known a group of so-called soldiers surrender before a shot has been fired in anger,'' the source said.