Obama sets end date for Iraq war - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Obama sets end date for Iraq war

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the war in Iraq is coming to an end, and all U.S. combat troops with be out by September of next year.

Obama told Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., that the most important decisions about Iraq's future "must now be made by Iraqis."

The plan would see the roughly 100,000 U.S. combat troops leave over the next 18 months, though most will remain in the war zone through the end of this year to ensure national elections set for December go smoothly.

Once the drawdown is complete, a force of up to 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq with a new mission of training, protecting civilians and counterterrorism.

Obama says the U.S. "can no longer see Iraq in isolation from other priorities" such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. He adds that the end of the war may lead to a "new era of American leadership and engagement in the Middle East."

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