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Thu 15 Dec 2011 11:23 AM

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US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama

Obama lauds some of the last US troops to return home from Iraq, marks end to nearly 9-yr war

US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
US President Barack Obama speaks to US Army troops at Fort Bragg, NC, Dec 14 (AFP/Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
Obama on Wednesday marked the US exit from Iraq by eulogising fallen troops and seek to move Americans on from a divisive near nine-year war which he opposed. (AFP/Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
First lady Michelle Obama (R) speaks as US President Barack Obama listens during a tribute to the troops (Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
The US is ending its war in Iraq and all US troops are scheduled to be out of Iraq by Dec 31 (Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
'It is harder to end a war than to begin one," Obama told about 3,000 soldiers gathered in an airplane hangar (AFP/Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
Despite lingering questions about whether US should have invaded the Middle Eastern country, the last US troops 'will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high,' Obama said (Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
As of this week, there were about 5,500 US troops left in Iraq, down from more than 170,000 at the height of the war that Obama's predecessor George W Bush started in the wake of the 9/11 attacks (Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
First lady Michelle Obama (L) is hugged by a military family member (AFP/Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
Michelle Obama, speaking just before her husband, credited the president for winding down the war. 'He's kept his promise to responsibly bring you home from Iraq,' she said(Getty Images)
US troops leaving Iraq with heads held high, says Obama
Army members listen as Obama, in a televised speech, thanks the troops who have served in Iraq at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City, Kuwait (Getty Images)