Barack Obama ends the war in Iraq. 'Now it's time to turn the pag
In a televised address to the nation from the Oval Office, the president said America had paid a huge price for the war begun by George W Bush to topple Saddam Hussein.
"Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country," he said.
Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki hailed the restoration of sovereignty to Iraq: "Iraq today is sovereign and independent. With the execution of the troop pullout, our relations with the United States have entered a new stage between two equal, sovereign countries."
A ceremony is to be held in Baghdad today, attended by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, and Maliki, to mark the handover of responsibility for military operations from the US to Iraqi forces. Obama, whose early opposition to the invasion helped propel his White House candidacy, presented last night as the near-fulfilment of a key 2008 presidential election campaign pledge to end the war."