President Barack Obama announced Friday that U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by year’s end and the war would be over. It’s not the first time he’s declared an end to the conflict that began when the U.S. invaded in 2003.
Feb. 27, 2009, Camp Lejeune, N.C.:
“As a candidate for president, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to ensure that we preserve the gains we’ve made and protect our troops. Those consultations are now complete, and I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months. Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”
Aug. 31, 2010, Oval Office:
“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. This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That’s what we’ve done.”
Oct. 21, 2011, White House briefing room:
“Today I can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over. Over the next two months our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”