US combat troops are preparing to leave the last of Iraqi cities. It is a move praised by local authorities as restoring sovereignty.
By midnight tonight all US combat units must have withdrawn from Iraq’s urban centres and redeployed to bases outside. All US troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011. The last American combat troops left central Baghdad yesterday. But some soldiers helping with training and advising Iraqi forces will stay behind. One Baghdad resident said on euronews that he was happy to see Iraqi security forces assuming responsibility. “God willing, they will be able to maintain security,” he said. “Long live Iraq.” On the day of the pull-out, the US military said four American soldiers died of combat-related injuries. The Iraqi government is to make June the 30th a public holiday: “National Sovereignty Day”.