Last U.S. Combat Troops Have Left Iraq

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Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

About seven and a half years after U.S. forces entered the country, the last American brigade has left Iraq. Obama had set a August 31 deadline for an end to combat operations in the country, but the exact date of the pullout had been kept a secret. However, despite headlines on the nightly news programs claiming the war has “ended,” this isn’t quite the case. A White House spokesman made clear Wednesday evening that the conflict won’t officially end until August 31. At that point, about 50,000 troops will remain in the country, though they will be classified as “trainers" charged with instructing and assisting the Iraqi police in the country (and they could be there for a lot longer). [CNN, NYT]