Iraq war ending, all troops coming home
The war in Iraq is ending and all US troops are coming home, US President Barack Obama said Wednesday in his State of the Union address, vowing continued US support of the Iraqi people.
"As we take the fight to al-Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people," Obama told lawmakers.
"But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home," he added, winning a standing ovation in Congress.
He renewed his pledge that all American combat troops would leave Iraq by the end of August, more than seven years after the 2003 US-led invasion aimed at toppling the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity," Obama added.
The US president has switched the US military's focus away from Iraq towards fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and rooting al-Qaeda militants believed to be hiding along its border with Pakistan.
The US military currently has 107,000 troops in Iraq and about 70,000 in Afghanistan, with another 30,000 due to arrive there in the coming months.
US combat troops exited Iraq's cities, towns and villages in June last year and are scheduled to leave the country completely by August.
All American soldiers must withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011 under a landmark security agreement signed between Baghdad and Washington.