Camp Victory (Iraq): US Vice President
Joe Biden said on Wednesday that American forces had begun a new
mission in Iraq, the day after the US combat role in the
war-torn country officially came to an end.
"Operation Iraqi Freedom is over but American
engagement with Iraq will continue with the mission that began
today, Operation New Dawn," Biden told US troops at Camp
Victory, outside of Baghdad.
Biden was speaking hours after President Barack Obama
announced in an Oval Office address that the US combat role,
begun with the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, was now over, as
uncertainty and violence continue to cloud the nation.
He said Iraqis had rejected violence, and called upon
their leaders to form a new government, nearly six month after
an indecisive general election.
Referring to Al-Qaeda, which has spearheaded a bloody
insurgency in Iraqi, Biden said "the Iraqi people have
rejected their ugly face of violence."
"I truly believe that the darkest days are now behind
us," he said, and pointed to Iraqis` "deeply felt desire to
control their own lives and maintain their own security."