US President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to tout the end of the US combat mission in Iraq, which officially closes on Tuesday, more than seven years after US-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein.
"As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As president, that is what I am doing," he said in taped remarks broadcast Saturday. "We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office."
Under an agreement with the Iraqi government, the US has closed or handed over hundreds of bases across the country, with Iraqi security forces taking increasing responsibility.
"In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts," Obama said.
"But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home."
He is scheduled to give a prime-time television address on Tuesday.
Obama said that he considered it "a moral obligation" to uphold the country's responsibility to take care of the soldiers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and described his government's efforts to improve services for military members and their families.