War Is Over of the Day: After nearly nine years of bloodshed, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the US war in Iraq to be over.
The announcement was made during a symbolic ceremony which saw the lowing of the American flag in Baghdad.
“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said. “To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain.”
Of the 1.5 million US troops who served in Iraq over the years, just under 4,500 were killed in action. As many as 30,000 were wounded. Scores of soldiers from other coalition countries lost their lives as well.
On the Iraqi side, over 16,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces died. Tens of thousands more were wounded.
The exact number of Iraqi civilians killed or wounded during the war may never be known, but is believed extremely high.
Though December 15th will be henceforth mark the end of the Iraq War, some 15,000 people will remain behind to operate the US embassy, making it the largest of its kind in the world.
awesome! only TEN YEARS in the making.