WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country by year's end.
Mr. Obama's statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011.
"After nearly nine years," the president, "America's war in Iraq will be over."
He spoke at the White House after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and he offered assurances that the two leaders agreed on the decision.
The American withdrawal by the end of 2011 was sealed in a deal between the two countries when George W. Bush was president. Mr. Obama declared the end of the combat mission earlier this year.