34 captures
01 Feb 2012 - 16 Apr 2021
About this capture
Wednesday 01 February 2012
Hot Topics
News > World > Middle East
US lowers flag to end Iraq war

Suggested Topics
Middle East
Barack Obama
Democrats (US)
The US military has formally shut down the war in Iraq, officially retiring the flag of US Forces-Iraq.
Troops lowered the flag and wrapped it in camouflage, formally "casing" it, according to Army tradition.
The Baghdad ceremony was attended by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who told troops they leave Iraq with "lasting pride".
Panetta said veterans of the nearly nine-year conflict can be "secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside".
Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Lloyd Austin, the top US commander in Iraq, also spoke at the ceremony at Baghdad International Airport.
The nearly nine-year war has cost 4,500 American dead, 32,000 wounded and more than 800 billion dollars (£516 billion).
Panetta stepped off his military plane in Baghdad as the leader of America's war in Iraq, but will leave as one of many top US and global officials who hope to work with the struggling nation as it tries to find its new place in the Middle East and the broader world.
He and several other US diplomatic, military and defence leaders participated in the highly symbolic ceremony.
The US Forces-Iraq flag will be brought back to the United States.
"You will leave with great pride - lasting pride," Panetta told the troops. "Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside and to offer hope for prosperity and peace to this country's future generations."
During several stops in Afghanistan this week, Panetta made it clear that the US can be proud of its accomplishments in Iraq.
"We spilled a lot of blood there," Panetta said. "But all of that has not been in vain. It's been to achieve a mission making that country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself."
That, he said, is "a tribute to everybody - everybody who fought in that war, everybody who spilled blood in that war, everybody who was dedicated to making sure we could achieve that mission".
Panetta echoed President Barack Obama's promise that the US plans to keep a robust diplomatic presence in Iraq, foster a deep and lasting relationship with the nation and maintain a strong military force in the region.
As of today, there were two US bases and about 4,000 US troops in Iraq - a dramatic drop from the roughly 500 military installations and as many as 170,000 troops during the surge ordered by President George W Bush in 2007, when violence and raging sectarianism gripped the country.
All US troops are due to be out of Iraq by the end of the year, but officials are likely to meet that goal a bit before then.
The total US departure is a bit earlier than initially planned, and military leaders worry that it is a bit premature for the Iraqi security forces, who face continuing struggles to develop the logistics, air operations, surveillance and intelligence sharing capabilities they will need.
US officials were unable to reach an agreement with the Iraqis on legal issues and troop immunity that would have allowed a small training and counterterrorism force to remain. US defence officials said they expect there will be no movement on that issue until sometime next year.
Still, despite Obama's earlier contention that all American troops would be home for Christmas, at least 4,000 forces will remain in Kuwait for some months. The troops will be able to help finalise the move out of Iraq, but could also be used as a quick reaction force if needed.
Obama met in Washington with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this week, vowing to remain committed to Iraq as the two countries struggle to define their new relationship.
Ending the war was an early goal of the Obama administration, and the ceremony will allow the president to fulfil a crucial campaign promise during a politically opportune time.
Republicans are in a ferocious battle to determine who will face off against Obama in the election.
Panetta acknowledged the difficulties for Iraq in the coming years, as the country tries to find its footing.
"They're going face challenges in the future," Panetta said on Wednesday during a visit to troops in Afghanistan.
"They'll face challenges from terrorism, they'll face challenges from those that would want to divide their country. They'll face challenges from just the test of democracy, a new democracy and trying to make it work. But the fact is, we have given them the opportunity to be able to succeed."
The ceremony at Baghdad International Airport also featured remarks from Army Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen Lloyd Austin, the top US commander in Iraq.
Austin is leading the massive logistical challenge of closing hundreds of bases and combat outposts, and methodically moving more than 50,000 US troops and their equipment out of Iraq over the last year - while still conducting training, security assistance and counterterrorism battles.
Over the coming days, the final few thousand US troops will leave Iraq in orderly caravans and tightly scheduled flights - a marked contrast to the shock and awe that rocked the country on March 20, 2003, as the US invasion began.

The picture that shames Italy
Zante, bloody Zante: Sun, sex and the dark side of The Med
Costa Concordia search abandoned
Cheerleader must compensate school that told her to clap 'rapist'
Party days are over for students
Tough Guy Challenge: Fire, mud and skirts
Teenagers turn their backs on a university education
The picture that shames Italy
Party days are over for students
Cheerleader must compensate school that told her to clap 'rapist'
Zante, bloody Zante: Sun, sex and the dark side of The Med
Not lovin' it: McDonald's eats humble pie after Twitter backlash
Isabelle Caro, the face of anorexia, dies at 28
BANNED: The most controversial films
Rebel hero who has 'betrayed' the last of Aceh's orang-utans
Party over: Student life is serious business
Extreme close-up: German film brings the spread of neo-Nazi gangs into focus
<a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914/http://dmgt.grapeshot.co.uk/independent/redirect.cgi?target=http://ad.doubleclick.net/uk/jump/indy.uk/indy_indynews_worldnews;sz=300x250,300x600;key=GS_CHANNELS;tile=4;ord=' + ord + '?" target="_blank"> <img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914im_/http://dmgt.grapeshot.co.uk/independent/redirect.cgi?target=http://ad.doubleclick.net/uk/ad/indy.uk/indy_indynews_worldnews;sz=300x250,300x600;key=GS_CHANNELS;tile=4;ord=' + ord + '?" width="300" height="250" border="0" alt="Click here...">Click here...</a>
<a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914/https://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/indy.uk/indy_indyhome_partners;tile=1;sz=300x150;ord=123456789" target="_blank"><img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914im_/https://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/indy.uk/indy_indyhome_partners;tile=1;sz=300x150;ord=123456789" border="0" alt=""/></a>
<a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914/http://dmgt.grapeshot.co.uk/independent/redirect.cgi?target=http://ad.doubleclick.net/uk/jump/indy.uk/indy_indynews_worldnews;sz=160x600,120x600;key=GS_CHANNELS;tile=5;ord=' + ord + '?" target="_blank"> <img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914im_/http://dmgt.grapeshot.co.uk/independent/redirect.cgi?target=http://ad.doubleclick.net/uk/ad/indy.uk/indy_indynews_worldnews;sz=160x600,120x600;key=GS_CHANNELS;tile=5;ord=' + ord + '?" width="120" height="600" border="0" alt="Click here...">Click here...</a>
<a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914/https://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/indy.uk/indy_indyhome_partners;tile=1;sz=300x250;ord=123456789" target="_blank"><img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914im_/https://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/indy.uk/indy_indyhome_partners;tile=1;sz=300x250;ord=123456789" border="0" alt=""/></a>
Win a Canary Island Holiday
Win a seven-night holiday for two adults to two of the Canary Islands.
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
In deep water
Container ship saves crew cast adrift on life rafts after their Atlantic crossing turns into a scramble for survival
Police watchdog admitted system was ineffective
Revelation comes after Independent investigation into deaths in police custody
Stalemate at UN on resolution urging Assad to go
A defiant Russia resists intense pressure from the West and several Arab countries
Syria is used to the slings and arrows of friends and enemies
Bashar al-Assad is clinging to power despite the slow growth of a civil war
QPR big spenders as Zamora and Cissé join
...while Harry Redknapp is up to his old tricks again with day of movement at Tottenham

The Independent
2 Derry Street London W8 5TT
© independent.co.uk

© independent.co.uk
<a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914/http://www.omniture.com/" title="Web Analytics"><img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20120201041914im_/http://indepdev.122.2o7.net/b/ss/indepdev/1/H.19.3--NS/0?[AQB]&amp;cdp=3&amp;[AQE]&amp;pageName=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/US lowers flag to end Iraq war" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/></a>
Jobs Dating Shop
NEWS UK Home News UK Politics Crime This Britain World Europe Americas Middle East Asia Africa Australasia World Politics World History Novaya Gazeta (English) Business Business News Business Comment Business Analysis & Features Sharewatch SME Market News Market Epic Market Heatmaps Market Screener Business Directory People News Profiles Diary Science Media Opinion TV & Radio Press Online Advertising Education News Schools Further Higher Primary Tables 2011 Secondary Tables 2012 Training & Courses MBA & Executive Obituaries Diary Corrections OPINION ENVIRONMENT SPORT LIFE & STYLE ARTS & ENTS TRAVEL MONEY INDYBEST BLOGS STUDENT
LobbyingNHSSyriaEd Miliband
Stalemate at UN on resolution urging Assad to go Israel sets up elite command unit to strike behind 'enemy' lines Syria is used to the slings and arrows of friends and enemies Iranians reach out – in Spanish UN urged to remove Syrian President Car bomb kills three Iraqi soldiers north of Baghdad UN deadlock threatens key Syria vote as Assad fights back rebels UN inspectors can extend Iran nuclear visit Syrian troops push back in fight on Damascus edges Nuclear inspectors met by tension and protests in Iran Mirandes spark life into Spain’s Copa del ReyOnline House Hunter: Rising concernsMark Beaumont and team rescued after boat capsizes in AtlanticThe future of the NHS
Advanced Search Day in a page Article archive
Most ViewedMost CommentedMost Shared