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Nearly 9 years on, US withdraws from Iraq

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

09:16, December 19, 2011

US Air Force airman wait to board the last Air Force flight out of Ali Air Base near Nasiriyah, en route to Kuwait Dec 17, 2011. (Chinadaily.com.cn/Agencies)

BAGHDAD - The last convoy of US soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending their withdrawal after nearly nine years of war and military intervention that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

The war launched in March 2003 with missiles striking Baghdad to oust Saddam Hussein is leaving behind a fragile democracy still facing insurgents, sectarian tensions and a struggle to define its place in the Arab region.

The final column of around 100 mostly US military MRAP armoured vehicles carrying 500 US troops trundled across the southern Iraq desert through the night along an empty highway to the Kuwaiti border.

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