Friday, August 29 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:10:47 GMT
As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of...More >
As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:10:40 GMT
Pakistan's prime minister has denied asking the country's military chief to mediate with opposition leaders and protesters who have camped outside parliament in Islamabad for two weeks, demanding his...More >
Pakistan's prime minister on Friday denied asking the country's military chief to mediate with opposition leaders and protesters who have camped for two weeks outside parliament in the capital, Islamabad, demanding...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 10:02 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:02:23 GMT
Israeli police say a recently found body has been identified after a forensic investigation as that of a U.S. religious student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week.More >
Israeli forensic investigators on Friday identified a recently found body as that of a U.S. religious student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week, Israeli police said, adding that he had been buried near...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:40:00 GMT
The World Health Organization says the past week has seen the highest increase of Ebola cases since the outbreak began, more evidence that the crisis is worsening.More >
A man infected with Ebola traveled to Senegal, becoming the first recorded in this country of an outbreak that has hit four other West African countries and has killed more than 1,500 people, the Ministry of Health said...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:32:33 GMT
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has called on pro-Russian separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine to release Ukrainian soldiers they took prisoner and allow them to return home.More >
Pro-Russia separatists, relaxed and well-equipped, held firm control on Friday of the strategic coastal town of Novoazovsk, a day after Ukraine claimed tanks and armored vehicles had invaded from Russia.More >
Friday, August 29 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:31:15 GMT
The Islamist militia in control of Libya's capital, Tripoli, says it agrees with a U.N. call for a cease-fire in this North African country but vows to resist any foreign interference in Libyan affairs.More >
Libya's interim government submitted its resignation to the newly elected parliament it said on Friday, raising the possibility that a more inclusive government will be formed, while militias in the capital accepted a...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:19:36 GMT
By The Associated Press In this photo by Koji Sasahara, people walk across the scramble crossing outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo on Friday afternoon. The Shibuya district is popular with young...More >
By The Associated Press In this photo by Koji Sasahara, people walk across the scramble crossing outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo on Friday afternoon. The Shibuya district is popular with young people...More >
Friday, August 29 2014 8:40 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:40:21 GMT
The United Nations refugee agency says the civil war in Syria has forced a record 3 million people out of the country, an increase of 1 million from almost exactly a year ago.More >
The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country as more than a million people fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the U.N. refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year...More >
(RNN) - The following is a transcript of President Barack Obama's remarks on the end of the Iraq War.
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end - for the sake of our national security and to strengthen American leadership around the world. After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.
As commander-in-chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities. Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq. And to date, we've removed more than 100,000 troops. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security.
A few hours ago I spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. I reaffirmed that the U.S. keeps its commitments. He spoke of the determination of the Iraqi people to forge their own future. We are in full agreement about how to move forward.
So today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over.
Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq - tens of thousands of them - will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldier[s] will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America's military efforts in Iraq will end.
But even as we mark this important milestone, we're also moving into a new phase in the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq. As of Jan. 1, and in keeping with our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq, it will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect.
In today's conversation, Prime Minister Maliki and I agreed that a meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee of the Strategic Framework Agreement will convene in the coming weeks. And I invited the prime minister to come to the White House in December, as we plan for all the important work that we have to do together. This will be a strong and enduring partnership. With our diplomats and civilian advisors in the lead, we'll help Iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable. We'll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education, that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people. We'll partner with an Iraq that contributes to regional security and peace, just as we insist that other nations respect Iraq's sovereignty.
As I told Prime Minister Maliki, we will continue discussions on how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces - again, just as we offer training and assistance to countries around the world. After all, there will be some difficult days ahead for Iraq, and the U.S. will continue to have an interest in an Iraq that is stable, secure and self-reliant. Just as Iraqis have persevered through war, I'm confident that they can build a future worthy of their history as a cradle of civilization.
Here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings. Across America, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.
This December will be a time to reflect on all that we've been though in this war. I'll join the American people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq. We'll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 American patriots - and their Iraqi and coalition partners - who gave their lives to this effort.
And finally, I would note that the end of war in Iraq reflects a larger transition. The tide of war is receding. The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus our fight against al-Qaeda and achieve major victories against its leadership - including Osama bin Laden. Now, even as we remove our last troops from Iraq, we're beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, where we've begun a transition to Afghan security in leadership. When I took office, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in both these wars. And, by the end of this year, that number will be cut in half. And make no mistake: It will continue to go down.
Meanwhile, yesterday marked the definitive end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya. And there, too, our military played a critical role in shaping a situation on the ground in which the Libyan people can build their own future. Today, NATO is working to bring this successful mission to a close.
So to sum up, the U.S. is moving forward from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home. As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world. And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.
This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation - creating opportunity and jobs in this country. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build - and the nation that we will build - is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we've restored our leadership around the globe.