(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.
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