US President Barack Obama has confirmed that all of the country’s troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by the end of the year.
Obama’s statement on Friday put to end months of wrangling over whether the US would maintain a force presence beyond 2011.
“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” Obama said in a statement at the White House.
Obama took office after the deal to withdraw US troops by the end of 2011 was struck by his predecessor, George W. Bush.
He spoke to reporters after a private video conference with Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, and offered assurances that the two leaders agreed on the decision.
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Obama’s statement represents the fulfillment of a central promise of his 2008 election campaign, and comes as Washington seeks to also draw down the size of its garrison in Afghanistan.
Despite the disagreement, Obama said US troops will leave Iraq “with their heads held high, proud of their success.”
US-Iraqi talks broke down because the two sides were unable to agree on granting legal immunity for a small contingent of American troops who would have stayed in place to help train Iraqi forces and to counter the influence of Iran.
Throughout the discussions, Iraqi leaders adamantly have refused to g…