US combat forces pull out of Iraq

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

M1126 Stryker ICV on patrol near Mosul, Iraq
Image: TSGT Mike Buytas, USAF.

Sources say that the final section of 14,000 combat troops in Iraq, the United States Army's 4th Stryker Brigade, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, have made their way across the border between Iraq and Kuwait, formally ending combat operations within Iraq.

Around 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq to assist Iraqi armed forces training in Operation New Dawn, ending late 2011.

The section crossed the border at 1:30 local time (22:30 yesterday UTC, 18:30 EDT), bringing to an end the US military's seven and a half year involvement in Iraq, from their entry, to the fall of Saddam Hussein, and the creation of a democratic government in the country.

Brigadier General Nick Tooliatos saluted each soldier as they crossed the border into Kuwait.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better honor than to greet some soldiers who have done great work for a year fighting our nation’s war, and to just be here and render honors to them and welcome them and thank them for a job well done," Tooliatos said.

US combat forces had occupied Iraq since the Iraq War in early 2003. According to the Pentagon, 4,415 American troops have died in combat in Iraq since then.