Combat troops are gone from Iraq

Does this mean the Iraq war is over?

The last American combat brigade in Iraq has left the country, the US military has said.

The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division began crossing by land into Kuwait in the early hours of Thursday morning, said a spokesman.

The US combat mission in Iraq is scheduled to end on 31 August.

But the Pentagon has not confirmed that the move marks an early end to combat operations.

Most of the 4,000 Stryker Brigade troops drove out of Iraq in a convoy of armoured vehicles, say reports.

The journey along potentially hostile desert roads had been carefully planned for weeks.

Some of the brigade remained behind to complete logistical and administrative tasks but would leave the country by air later in the day, the Associated Press reported.

The BBC’s Jane O’Brien in Washington says the brigade’s departure after seven and a half years is a significant step.

But the Pentagon has stressed that the official end to Operation Iraqi Freedom – the US military mission in the country – remains scheduled for the end of the month.

Some 56,000 US troops are set to remain in Iraq until the end of 2011 to advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests.

Those soldiers will be armed but will only use their weapons in self-defence or at the request of the Iraqi government.

via BBC News – Last US combat brigade quits Iraq.

So did we win or lose?  Should we celebrate?  Or have we not seen the last of this war after all?

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