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Biden marks U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 03:03

Dec. 1 - U.S. Vice President Biden marks the end of the U.S. war in Iraq. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Marking the end of the line in Iraq. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden joins Iraqi leaders in Baghdad for a ceremony to mark the departure of American troops. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, saying (English): "Thank you Thank you for your heroic work, that each one of you has done to bring about this moment. Because of you, and this is no exaggeration to say this, because of you and the work that th/ose of you in uniform have done we are now able to end this war." While the ceremony marks the end of U.S. troop involvement .... bloodshed in Iraq is far from over. Some 50 miles north of the capital, a bomb explodes in a market place killing at least 10 people with gunmen executing eight more. The attacks underscore Iraq's fragile security ahead of the U.S. drawdown. The remaining 13,000 American troops are due to leave Iraq in the next few weeks, nearly nine years after the invasion that toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein. Major General Jeffrey Buchanan in Baghdad was made available to Reuters by the Pentagon. SOUNDBITE: Major General Jeffrey Buchanan, saying (English): "I know that the cost has been high. And I think when somebody tries to answer the questions about whether or not it has been worth it that's such a personal questions. I think the more important question is whether or not it has been worthwhile. I think right now I am optimistic about the future I am optimistic that the Iraqi people and the U.S. in our committed relationship with them are going to be able to take advantage of all the opportunities that are there. But I think that it is only through the lens of the future looking backwards that we are going to be able to determine whether or not it was worthwhile and whether or not we were all able to take advantage of the opportunities that we have." While violence has waned since the height of the sectarian bloodbath unleashed by the invasion, militants still kill scores of people every month. October's civilian death toll of 161 was the highest of the year, according to government figures. U.S. and Iraqi officials have said attacks may rise as U.S troops withdraw under terms of a 2008 security pact. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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Biden marks U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 03:03