BAGHDAD: The US military passed a milestone in its pending withdrawal from Iraq on Friday, vacating its vast main base near Baghdad airport that once housed the American war operations hub and hosted a captive Saddam Hussein before his execution.V
ictory Base Complex, a site ringed by 42 km of blast walls and razor wire, was the US nerve center for the Iraq war almost from the moment American troops entered the capital and pulled down Saddam’s statue in 2003.
The handover of Victory Base to Iraq’s government was a big step in the US pullout from Iraq as Washington consolidates its presence in Baghdad at its sprawling embassy on the Tigris River in the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
Fewer than 500 US troops remain in the capital, according to a US official. About 12,000 troops are still in Iraq, down from a peak of about 170,000 at the height of the war. All of the remaining forces are due to leave by the end of this year, except for a small contingent of under 200 attached to the US Embassy.
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Note by the editor: I am always amazed how the press ‘goes along’ with official US policy of ‘mis-information’ or at least ‘partial-information’. This article states how US military personnel is withdrawn ‘except for 200 attached to the Embassy’. No words about the thousands of Private Security Contractors. 200 US military is not sufficient to guard the huge Embassy with their 3000+ staff. As one medical doctor used to say: ‘as long as there is a little dirt in a wound it will not heal’. With more than 3000 staff in the Embassy PLUS their private security army there is more than ‘just a little dirt’ left in the wound and therefore the wound will not heal. Militants will continue to have an excuse to be active. Only if all ‘occupiers’ have left can militancy be contained, because at that time the militants would be openly oposing Iraqi brothers only and not occupiers. Only at that stage the whole society will oppose them and they will not have any place to hide.