The United States will withdraw its final 4,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year as one of country's most controversial military clashes comes to a close.
The U.S. military held a ceremony in Iraq Thursday, packing up a military flag, to officially mark the end of the war, which began nine years ago, according to a report in the Huffington Post.
President Barack Obama pledged during his run for office to wind down the Iraq conflict, which has claimed nearly 4,500 American lives.
"After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real," U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said at Thursday's ceremony.
Those skeptical of the troop pullout say it could easy lead to sectarian strife or an al Qaeda revival in Iraq.
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