Last U.S. Troops Leave Iraq, But 16,000 from State Remain

Watch the footage from a predator drone as it monitors the final convoy to leave Iraq. There is no audio, just the silent black and white video that lasts under two minutes.

A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator provides over-watch as the last convoys cross the border out of Iraq at 11:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). U.S. Air Forces Central Command provided more than 14 Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft to ensure safe passage for more than 125 vehicles filled with Soldiers and Airmen as they make the historic trek across the border.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait — The last U.S. troops crossed the border out of Iraq shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, officially ending a war that gave rise to a fledgling and still unstable democracy in Iraq but also cost almost $1 trillion and the lives of some 4,500 American service members.

The troops crossed a berm at the Kuwaiti border that was lit with floodlights and ringed with barbed wire, and were met by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who until Friday was the top U.S. commander in Iraq. The convoy’s arrival in Kuwait, after a week of ceremonies in Baghdad marking the end of the war, was kept shrouded in secrecy to protect the almost 500 troops and more than 110 vehicles that were part of the last convoy. – Washington Post

As the final U.S. troops leave Iraq, they leave behind the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.

There will be about 16,000 people working for the State Department at the embassy in Baghdad and consulates elsewhere in Iraq.

At least 5,000 of those in Iraq will be private security contractors, and there are lots of questions about whether the State Department is ready to run such a big operation in such a volatile country. – NPR.


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