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Unexpected flight to Iraq by Obama

President Barack Obama made an unexpected flight to Iraq Tuesday where he told U.S. troops it was the Iraqis turn to take over their country, reported the Star Tribune.

Meeting with top U.S commanders and Iraqi leaders, Obama said it was the beginning of the end of America's combat role in the conflict that has lasted six years and cost 4,265 lives of American soldiers, and thousands more Iraqi lives, reported the Star Tribune.

"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement," Obama told some 600 troops, reported the Star Tribune.

The unannounced flight into Iraq's dangerous war-zone came just hours after a car bomb killed eight Iraqis. Obama's four hour visit was limited to Camp Victory, the largest U.S. military base of the war, according to the Star Tribune.

Among thunderous cheers and applause, Obama predicted that the next year and half would be "trying" as U.S. troops begin leaving with still many security and political problems.

Obama also warned that Iraq's upcoming national elections would reveal its many unresolved political problems, reported the Pioneer Press.

In his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the president emphasized America's support in uniting opposing political factions such as assimilating the minority faciton Sunni's into the government and security forces.

"They have got to make political accommodations," Obama said. "They're going to have to decide that they want to resolve their differences through constitutional means and legal means."


Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/42581057.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUycaEacyU
Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/ci_12094245?nclick_check=1