U.S officially ends nine-year war in Iraq
BAGHDAD (BDCi) – U.S forces formally ended their nine-year war in Iraq on Thursday with a low key flag ceremony in Baghdad.
“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the ceremony at Baghdad’s still heavily-fortified airport.
Almost 4,500 U.S soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in the war tha began with a “Shock and Awe” campaign of missile pounding Baghdad and descended into sectarian strife and a surge in U.S troops numbers.
U.S soldiers lowered the flag of American forces in Iraq and slipped it into a camouflage-colored sleeve in a brief outdoor ceremony, symbolically ending the most unpopular U.S military venture since the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 70s.
The remaining 4,000 American troops will leave by the end of the year.
By: Natania Levine
Photo: Google Images
15 December 2011
11:46 a.m P.S.T