The US ended hostilities in Iraq on Wednesday with the last combat troops rolling into neighbouring Kuwait leaving about 50,000 military men and women in training and advisory roles, according to TV newsreports.
The remaining forces will include Special Forces operatives who will assist and accompany Iraqi forces in hunting down Al Qaeda operatives, which made some observes here doubt if hostilities were indeed ending.
But White House and Pentagon sources were quoted by some news channels as saying while the last combat brigade had indeed rolled into Kuwait, some 6,000 to 7,000 combat troops remained in Iraq. There was no official announcement from either the White House or the State department. President Barack Obama is likely to make one at the end of the month.
At least one TV channel, MSNBC, which had a reporter embedded with the troops, said combat operations had indeed ended and the stage is now set for the start of Operation New Dawn starting September 1. The channel quoted Major General Stephen Lamza, spokesman for US forces in Iraq, saying operations were indeed over.
The other war, in Afghanistan , continues, with experts pointing out that it may receive the much-needed focus that was lacking because of the Iraq invasion.