June 30th, 2009
03:11 PM ET
9 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. history repeats

    the surge was the idea of people that the repubs DID NOT LISTEN TO! iraq started to fall apart the american people got angry and the idiots in the bush administration finally gave the reins to the right people. dont thank bush for ANYTHING he did the only thing he had left after screwing everything up.

    June 30, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Michael

    Fist off the war is not over we just no longer have bases within the cities second the President everyone is thanking would be Bush as he is the one that signed the agreement to move out of the cities not Obama.

    June 30, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. obamareport.blogspot.com

    I do not believe the surge will work. only a complete surrender and withdrawal will help us defeat the enemy.

    June 30, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Obama you phony, you were against the surge which ultimately led to this day and said you would have voted against the initial invasion but now will take credit for removing the troops and not thank Bush for anything. I hope Americans can see through this empty suit.

    June 30, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Fla.

    End of an error & neocon nonsense.

    It is great cause for celebration, returning Iraq back to the Iraqi people.

    Thank you, Mr. President!

    June 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Shari, NY

    As the current President of the USA it is HIS lot to make a statement on this subject regardless of who signed what.

    June 30, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Proud Member..Party of No

    And if it were up to John McCain we'll be bomb, bomb, bombing Iran.

    June 30, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. donttreadonme

    Under the guise of illegal weapons and other lies about mass murder of civilians, paying suicide bombers and using chemical weapons against the Kurds, US forces took power from the rightfully elected government and had it’s elected leader Sadam executed though a Mickey Mouse court.

    We also murdered his innocent successors Uday and Qusay. And forced the peaceful nation of Iraq to submit to the evils of choice and Democracy. What next will we force capitalism?

    Now Democracy is slowly spreading to places like Iran because of the US intervention. How much of this barbarism can the world take?

    Obama was right to tear off his US Flag lapel.

    June 30, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. bill

    just bring our troops home like you promised obama.enough of bushes slimey mess. bush and chaney should be tried for war crimes. IF THE DEMS HAD ANY GUTS THEY WOULD BE IN JAIL NOW.

    June 30, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. fair MSM

    Thank CNN for the piece of news. Obama shut up. He can only fool the LOW IQ people, he can't fool people who study, investigate, cross-examine; He can't fool people with brain.

    Don't forget 46% of the people didn't vote for him. With more and more people waking up ... YES, I AM ONE OF THEM, I AM AN EX-DEM SWITCHING TO INDEP.

    June 30, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. ron

    thank you Mr Pres if wasn't for you and your historic election we would still have the republican buffoons telling us we have to stay in Iraq.

    June 30, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. single mom

    Unfortunately, I do not think there will be peace for Iraq. The Sunnis don't like having to share power, and they really don't like the fact that the territory where most of the Sunnis live doesn't have oil. The Kurds and Shiites have oil. I wouldn't be surprised if Sadr decides to stir up trouble as well.
    What a mess.

    June 30, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. James M. Holmes

    Another mess left by the worst administration ever, that is being cleaned up by Obama...

    June 30, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Tien

    in 6 months it'll be another Rwanda. Thank you for opening the door to genocide.

    June 30, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Benny

    Most contributors to CNN's political ticker are ignortant of civics (The study of government with particular attention given to the role of citizens― as opposed to external factors― in the operation and oversight of government).
    2.) Ignortant of the different branches of the U.S. government (the Executive, Judicial and Legislative), and how they carry out governmental power and functions.
    3.) Ignorant of foreign affairs, policy and International relations.

    This is why most contributors comments are appalling and shameful as it shows the low level of national awareness as compared with other developed even under developed countries of the world.

    June 30, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    @ Dutch "Thank You for ending this unwarranted war Mr. President"

    What a lie. And Obama is really working it with blind supporters like this one.

    The Truth: He is leaving 1000's of troops in Iraq, no plans to end anything, spending as much on the military as Bush and planning troop increases elsewhere in the world. People are continuing to DIE because of his coninuation of US military adventures!

    Mr. Obama – end the wars – stop lying – bring our troops ALL home.

    June 30, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Zora La Rousse, Lugano CH

    It's despicable how Republicans attacked President Obama for being a Muslim; yet now accuse President Obama of ignoring the suffering of Iraqis who are also Muslim.

    Republicans don't care that Iraqis (Muslims) suffered under Saddam Hussein for years before Bush's war.

    All you hear from that side in these posts is a lot of immature high school football game one-upmanship rhetoric.

    June 30, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Joe

    While you are at it BHO please pull the troups out of South Korea, – we have had troops there for more than 50 years after the Korean War. Lets pull our troops out of Germany where they have been for 60 years after WW2. Do we still have troops in Kosovo? If so pull them out of there too. Lets bring everybody home.

    June 30, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Angie in PA

    Thank God for President Obama if Mcwar would have won we would never leave Iraq!

    June 30, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Tien

    Shari, NY June 30th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

    As the current President of the USA it is HIS lot to make a statement on this subject regardless of who signed what.

    I am so glad that you agree. That means that as the current president, this is his economy, his budget, his "stimulus, his tax increases and if we are bombed by North Korea, it is on his watch.

    Thanks goodness I don't have to have to hear about Bush's this or that anymore. *wishful thinking*

    June 30, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Angie in PA

    Bush copied off President Obama while President Obama was Campaiging Bush stole President Obamas exit plan in Iraq!

    June 30, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Hugo

    Give me a break, BO takes credit for GW's work and CNN spins it! Oooh, those evil Republicans, trying to put some common sense applications to those looney left demands. Lite bulbs, cigarettes get em while you can!

    June 30, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. will

    fair MSM... by your math 64% did vote for him as president which means he represents 100% of the people

    June 30, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. will

    Correction 54%: fair MSM… by your math 54% did vote for him as president which means he represents 100% of the people

    June 30, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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