US military marked the end of its Iraq operations in a ceremony attended by Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The remaining 13,000 US troops are due to withdraw by end of year.
Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Baghdad yesterday to honor US sacrifices in the war in Iraq.
Iraq withdrawal will occur by the end of this year, President Obama announced Friday. For the 39,000 US troops still in Iraq, withdrawal means most will be home for the holidays.
Iraq troop withdrawal: Obama's statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraqbeyond 2011.
Lebanon’s Syria-backed government has tried to distance itself from the upheaval next door, fearful of the repercussions if the violence worsens or if the Assad regime collapses. But the other four countries with that share borders with Syria have reacted in different ways to the seven-month uprising, reflecting their respective regional heft and national interests.
The weak foundations of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may well come tumbling down this week.
Muqtada al-Sadr: In a statement posted on his website, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his militias to halt attacks against US forces till the withdrawal is finished at the end of the year as required under a security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.
The Obama administration is considering a plan to leave about 3,000 support troops behind at the end of the year, if Iraqis agree. But reports suggest that the Pentagon is angling for more.
A poll shows Iran's popularity in dramatic decline in several Middle Eastern countries, possibly an indication of the domestically driven political change sweeping across the region.