US forces officially begin new Iraq mission: Biden

By AFP
Published: September 1, 2010
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U.S. Specialist Billy Short jokes around with his buddies at the vehicle washing, as soldiers are expected to return home in two weeks. PHOTO: REUTERS

U.S. Specialist Billy Short jokes around with his buddies at the vehicle washing, as soldiers are expected to return home in two weeks. PHOTO: REUTERS

BAGHDAD: US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that American forces had begun a new mission in Iraq, the day after the US combat role in the war-torn country officially came to an end.

‘Operation Iraqi Freedom is over but American engagement with Iraq will continue with the mission that began today, Operation New Dawn,’Biden told US troops at Camp Victory, outside of Baghdad.

Biden was speaking hours after President Barack Obama announced in an Oval Office address that the US combat role was now over, as uncertainty and violence continue to cloud the nation.

He said Iraqis had rejected violence, and called upon their leaders to form a new government, nearly six month after an indecisive general election.

‘I truly believe that the darkest days are now behind us,” he said, and pointed to Iraqis’ ‘deeply felt desire to control their own lives and maintain their own security.’

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