Entries in Camp Victory (3)


US Transfers Camp Victory to Iraqis

Khalid Mohammed-Pool/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- The U.S. military base in Baghdad known as Camp Victory was transferred to Iraqi control on Friday.  The complex was built around Saddam Hussein’s grandiose palace complex and is surrounded by 27 miles of concrete barriers.

Vice President Joe Biden, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani attended a ceremony at the base on Thursday.  Addressing hundreds of American and Iraqi troops, Biden thanked them for their sacrifice, saying, “Because of you and the work that those of you in uniform have done, we are now able to end this war.”

Even though the base was handed over to Iraq on Friday, the U.S. has until the end of the year to remove all of its remaining forces.  There are currently 13,000 U.S. troops still in the country.

During the nearly nine-year war, the death toll of U.S. service personnel is at least 4,483, with over 32,000 injured.  The cost to U.S. taxpayers amounts to more than $800 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US to Transfer Camp Victory in Baghdad to Iraqi Control

US soldiers attend a special ceremony at Camp Victory, one of the last American bases in this country where the US military footprint is swiftly shrinking, in Baghdad, Iraq. Khalid Mohammed-Pool/Getty Images(BAGDAD) -- On Friday the huge U.S. military base in Baghdad known as Camp Victory will be transferred to Iraqi control in the most tangible sign yet that the U.S. is nearing the end of its eight-year presence in Iraq.

Built around Saddam Hussein’s grandiose and gaudy Al-Faw Palace complex in western Baghdad, near the international airport, the base was the largest of the 505 American military installations set up in Iraq and served as the headquarters for all U.S. military operations in Iraq.

Surrounded by 27 miles of concrete barriers, the base was one of the most visible reminders of the ongoing American military presence in Iraq.  At the height of the surge in 2007, the base was home to as many as 40,000 troops and 30,000 contractors.

There are no plans for a handover ceremony on Friday, though a solemn commemoration event was held Thursday to pay tribute to the sacrifices of American and Iraqi soldiers in the eight-year-long war.

The ceremony was held in the palace’s vast marble-lined rotunda hall used by Presidents Bush and Obama to address large numbers of American service members during their brief visits.

On Thursday Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Joe Biden addressed several hundred American and Iraqi troops gathered for the event to praise their sacrifice.

Biden said it was "because of you and the work that those of you in uniform have done, we are now able to end this war.” As of Thursday, 4,486 Americans have died in the war in Iraq.

White House officials told reporters traveling with Biden that Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, had told Biden staffers that Camp Victory would be handed over to the Iraqi government on Friday. "Tonight is the last night U.S. troops will sleep there,” one White House official said.

Though the United States has until the end of the year to get all of its forces out of Iraq, American military commanders have said that the bulk of American forces will have left the country by mid-December.

The pace of the American drawdown increased dramatically in November; more than 20,000 troops have left Iraq in the past four weeks. There are currently 13,000 U.S. forces still in Iraq.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five American Soldiers Killed In Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Five American troops were killed in central Iraq on Monday in what is being called the single most deadly attack on U.S. forces in that country in two years.

The U.S. military did not specify exactly how the soldiers were killed, but there are reports that a rocket attack on or near Camp Victory in Baghdad was to blame for the deaths.

The names of those killed have not been released, pending the notification of their families.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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