June 30th, 2009
03:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Iraqi celebrations a testament to U.S. commitment

President Obama touched on the changed situation in Iraq during a White House event Tuesday.
President Obama touched on the changed situation in Iraq during a White House event Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that street celebrations in Iraq for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from cities and towns were a testament to the sacrifices of U.S. troops in the country.

In brief remarks at a White House event on technological innovation, Obama said the drawback meant that Iraq's future was now in the hands of its leaders and people.

"The Iraqis are rightly treating this day as a cause for celebration," Obama said, calling the "important milestone" the result of the good work by U.S. forces who first entered Iraq in 2003 and toppled the regime of former leader Saddam Hussein.

Obama warned of tough times ahead in Iraq, noting a bombing earlier Tuesday in Kirkuk that killed at least 30 people. He said the United States would continue to support Iraq as it works to become "a "sovereign, stable, and self-reliant" country.

The U.S. withdrawal was part of an agreement signed last year between former President George W. Bush's administration and the Iraq leadership. The agreement calls for all U.S. forces to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

The remaining 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are now tasked with supporting Iraqi troops and police, and will require Iraqi permission to launch operations in the cities.

Listen: New CNN poll numbers about the U.S. troop withdrawal in Iraq



Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. rodlang

    Shut up Obama. You were against the surge and the surge worked. That's why we are getting out of Iraq no thanks to you.

    June 30, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Texas Teacher

    Iraq will have to stand on its own two feet... and they deserve the opportunity to do it without world interference, but rather support! They have had more than enough of war... I suspect they are ready for peace and demoncracy in their country. I pray that is the government that wins out in this struggle for freedom.

    June 30, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Esco

    I hope the remaining 130,000 come back in one piece. 2011 is a long way still and a lot can happen in that time frame. We need to get our troops back, thats the bottom line.

    June 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. xxx

    this means we still have troops in Iraq???!!!! were dead people

    June 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. johnnie

    thank you mr.president ,you kept your word to end this war.

    June 30, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    Why is no one concerned with the fact that Obama is buddying up with and supporting the likes of Chavez, Ortega, Castro, King Abdullah and now Zelaya of Honduras, and has also tried to suck up to Ahmadinejad???

    After a full week of indecision, he then decided he didn't want to "meddle" in Iran's clearly sham election of its thug leader, but within hours he called for the support and return of Zelaya, despite his illegal attempt to thwart the Honduras constitution and become dictator for life (with the support of Chavez)???

    Is this what we can expect Obama to do in the U.S.? He makes me "very concerned"!

    June 30, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Zero.

    More! A Testament of Obama's stupidity...

    June 30, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. mk

    Thank God, the people of Iran now need to step up and put their country back together.

    June 30, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    ....but not worth 4,300 American lives, a large number of injuries and thousands of Iraqie deaths. .

    June 30, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. S M R

    The cost: The lives of over 4000 US Troops,100,000 innocent Iraqies and billions of American Taxpayers money. FOR WHAT? So if the Iraqies can't hold peace there, Who is to blame. The right will say Obama, the left will say Bush/Cheney. We had no right to bomb and invade them. NO WMD, JUST LIES TO FILL THE POCKETS OF American Terrorists.

    June 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. jan

    The U.S. withdrawal was part of an agreement signed last year between former President George W. Bush's administration and the Iraq leadership ...

    U.S. Troop Withdrawal ... It was signed by Bush? I thought it was signed by OBAMA.

    June 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thank You for ending this unwarranted war Mr. President.

    June 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Moderate in PA

    This was reported by the media yesterday, why wasn't the Whitehouse response as timely as it is to other news, i.e. healthcare legislation that passed the House that was sold by him. Because the much maligned Bush adminstration orchestrated the withdrawal, not him. He campaigned on a false promise, the withdrawal agreement was done by the time he sold the citizens on 'Change we can't believe in'.... Watch the healthe care costs go up now, and for those of us who earn under that magic $250,000, we are going to get burned with a tax on the benefits we do receive and are already paying a portion of. Ask the Canadians and Great Britain about their government plans, you will enlightened!

    June 30, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Robin

    Thank you the Men and Women of our Armed Services. You are a testament to "Freedom is not Free".

    Thank you for your service, you are honored!

    June 30, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Chai-wallah

    Mr. President, I would not jump for joy so soon. I would give the Iraq's time for it to sink in and I am sure you are smart enough to know the history of this country.

    My fear is that soon, the oposing sides will be at war with each other. Guess who will be blamed for the implosion in Iraq? You!

    Though it was not your choice to invade Iraq; it is now your war and IF things turn out negative, you can bet your bottom dollar, the Republicans will blame you.

    Listen very well...Dick Cheney and John McCain will be the first ones to take you to court. Remember the favorite word? Impeach. Yeah, that one. Keep your fingers crossed and hope, Iraq will not go to hell before 2016.

    June 30, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. jt

    Obama said, calling the "important milestone" the result of the good work by U.S. forces who first entered Iraq in 2003 and toppled the regime of former leader Saddam Hussein.

    kudos to "W"???

    June 30, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Neutralizer

    Don't take the credit Obambi, it was Bush who signed it NOT you! I give credit to Bush, he was the one who signed the agreement for troop withdrawals last year with Maliki.

    June 30, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Proud Member..Party of No

    Of course, if it had been Obama's choice the Iraqi people would still be suffering under Saddam Hussein.

    June 30, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. jaye

    Very good, Mr. President, very good.
    Now bring our troops home with honor.
    CONGRATULATIONS TO AL FRANKEN!!!!!

    June 30, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Claudia in Houson

    U.S. soldiers have bravely given so much to the Iraqi people, now it's time for them to stand on their own, our soldiers aren't babysitters. Iraq will always have their share of "bad" actors and those who will stand against them, let them do their job.

    June 30, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Ceasar the Great

    So now that it worked you are for it? Sorry President Obama, this is truly the work of those before you that actually knew how to end this. You just started something in Afgahnastan (sp?) that you have no idea how to end. This new war will make Iraq look easy.

    June 30, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. history repeats

    Neutralizer

    you give bush credit? do you think he would have signed the withdrawel if americans didnt wake up to the idiotic war this president put us in? would he have signed it if the republicans didnt get crushed in 2006? pleeeease. if somebody shoots you and then gives you a band aid you dont honor him!!!

    June 30, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Jim

    Thank you President George W. Bush!

    A great victory for our country, and the world over.

    You will go down in History as a much greater man, and President than the current Commie in Chief occupying the White House.

    June 30, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Really

    How can he even comment? He would have left years ago. Actually he would rather have kept Saddam in power. Then he was against the surge. He did not sign the withdrawal agreement. He was not committed yet he takes credit for it.

    June 30, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. gl, From Pittsburgh

    U.S. Troop Withdrawal was signed by Obama not Bush!

    June 30, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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