Obama announces Iraq troop exit
US President Barack Obama has declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in US history, announcing that all troops will be withdrawing from the country by the end of the year, as promised in a deal struck before he took office.
Mr Obama's statement puts to an end months of wrangling over whether the US would maintain a force presence beyond 2011.
The President said: "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."
He spoke to reporters after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and offered assurances that the two leaders had 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.