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as jhon lennon sang merry xmas the war is over... at least it is in kuwait
EMPTY buildings stand abandoned in a vast stretch of land that looks like a long-forgotten ghost town.
But these extraordinary pictures are of the American army's home and base in Iraq – at least until daybreak this morning.
Now they are the only reminders of a war that saw 4,500 US and more than 100,000 Iraqi lives lost, all in the name of peace.
The £520billion Iraq operation has raged for nearly nine years and left the country struggling to recover to its feet.
This morning the final US soldiers left the country to neighbours Kuwait in emotional scenes.
TROOPS have pulled out of Iraq, marking the end of its military withdrawal
They were waved off by Iraqi soldiers they had helped gain independence and stature in their rebuilt homeland.
Warrant Officer John Jewell said: ""My heart goes out to the Iraqis "The innocent always pay the bill."
Across the border the mood was celebratory as troops from the 3rd brigade of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division commemorated the event.
Spc. Jesse Jones, 23, said: "It's just an honour to be able to serve your country To be able to say that you helped close out the war in Iraq."
Spc. Brittany Hampton said she had been hit by the significance of being in the last convoy to leave the country.
She said: "Not a lot of people can say that they did huge things like that that will probably be in the history books.
"We really truly were the last soldiers in Iraq. So it's pretty awesome."
The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003, with an airstrike in southern Baghdad where Saddam Hussein was believed to be hiding.
Few believed the conflict would last so long, especially after the hated dictator was found by the end of the year.
But his capture and subsequent execution only sparked bitter in-fighting between the country's Shiite and Sunni communities.
It has only been in the past two years that violence has finally dropped and Iraqi security forces trained by troops have stepped up to the plate.
On Thursday Barack Obama said: "I would describe our troops as having succeeded in the mission of giving to the Iraqis their country in a way that gives them a chance for a successful future."
Everyone around the world will be holding their breath hoping his words prove to come true.
according to obama the iraqi forces have reportedly stepped up to the plate.
isnt it time for our own david cameron to step up to the plate also and recall all british troops not just from iraq but from afghanistan and anywhere else the UN peacekeeping forces are after all we did not ask for the war in the middle east we were taken into it by that trechorous traitor tony blair .
we never got the referendum promised as blair knew it would be a big NO
but blair went ahead anyway against the wishes of the british people.
if dave can step up to the plate not only would he recall the troops but also have europol arrest tony blair for war crimes and treason .
and blair would be tried either by the european courts of justice or by the high court here in england .
somehow i cannot see that happening only under a far right government.
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