London, Aug 29 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has said combat operations in Iraq are nearing its end and the sovereign, independent nation would be free to chart its own course thereafter.
The U.S. combat mission in Iraq officially comes to an end Tuesday, 2,722 days after American-led troops stormed into the country from Kuwait. The remaining 50,000 U.S. troops are supposed to depart by the end of 2011.
"The bottom line is this: The war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home," The Guardian quoted Obama, as saying.
"In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counter terrorism missions and protect our civilian and military efforts," Obama added.
Obama further stated that as a presidential candidate, he had pledged to end this war, and as president, he would fulfill that promise.
"We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office. We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases. In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security," he added. (ANI)