By Jason Theodorou

President Barack Obama has said that the Iraq War is coming to a 'responsible end... as promised and on schedule'. The US mission will move from a combat to support mission, before ending by August 31st. Obama set the deadline at the outset of his administration.

At least 50,000 of 65,000 US troops in Iraq are set to stay there until the end of 2011, to provide security for US civial efforts and complete counterterrorism initiatives. All American troops will be removed from the country by the end of 2011, as per the terms of an agreement made with the Iraq government.

President Obama said that America's role in Iraq was changing 'from a military effort led by our troops, to a civilian effort led by our diplomats'. His pledge to conclude the war in Iraq was key to winning support as a candidate in 2008, and the end of military conflict is expected to cited as a success by the Obama administration.

Ongoing political uncertainty in Iraq has raised questions over the departure of American troops, with Iraqi leaders unable to form a new government despite elections held earlier this year. Attacks remain a problem, with reports from Baghdad indicate that 535 lost their lives last month. The figure contrasts with the official American tally of 222 fatalities.


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