Saturday, U.S Marines closed up shop and left left Iraq---VICTORIOUS.
FOX News reported:
The U.S. Marine Corps wrapped nearly seven years in Iraq on Saturday, handing over duties to the Army and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the U.S. turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan.
In Baghdad, meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden held talks with Iraqi leaders amid growing tensions over plans to ban election candidates because of suspected links to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The White House worries the bans could raise questions over the fairness of the March 7 parliamentary elections, which are seen as an important step in the American pullout timetable and breaking political stalemates over key issues such as dividing Iraq’s oil revenue.
The Marines formally handed over control of Sunni-dominated Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, to the Army during a ceremony at a base in Ramadi — where some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place.
If all goes as planned, the last remaining Marines will be followed out by tens of thousands of soldiers in the coming months. President Obama has ordered all but 50,000 troops out of the country by Aug. 31, 2010, with most to depart after the March 7 parliamentary election.
The remaining troops will leave by the end of 2011 under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact.