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US troops roll out of Iraq

US troops roll out of Iraq
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Nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, the U.S. mission in Iraq is fast winding down with only 13,000 troops left in the country.

Hundreds of convoys of military vehicles and civilian trucks have gone south into Kuwait since US President Barack Obama last month said troops would leave as planned, effectively ending the large-scale U.S. military presence on Iraqi soil.

The US Vice President Joe Biden believes the move will usher in a new relationship between the two countries: “We kept our promises to withdraw our troops from Iraqi cities in 2009, we kept our promises to end our combat mission in the summer of 2010 and now we are keeping our promise we made back in 2008 to remove our troops from Iraq by the end of the year.”

Around 200 US troops will stay in Iraq to help Iraqi forces train on new US military hardware. But a deal for more soldiers to remain collapsed over the issue of immunity.

Violence has fallen sharply since the height of sectarian strife three years ago but the latest bombing is proof that Baghdad remains a dangerous place.