President Obama said on Monday that his plan to drastically reduce the number of United States troops in Iraq by the end of the summer is on schedule, suggesting that America’s military efforts in the war-torn nation are nearing a conclusion.
While speaking at the national convention of Disabled American Veterans, Obama indicated that America’s presence in Iraq will soon transition toward a diplomatic-led effort, according to The Washington Post.
By the end of August, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced to 50,000, with a complete withdrawal scheduled for the end of 2011. The president noted that the soldiers who will remain overseas for the next 18 months will be providing support and training to the Iraqi army.
"As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end," said Obama. "And that is exactly what we are doing."
Despite the president’s celebratory tone, Iraqi officials announced last week that July was the deadliest the nation had seen in over two years, CNN reports. According to figures, a total of 535 civilians, local police officers and Iraqi soldiers were killed during that month.
The U.S. military issued a statement on Sunday disputing the claims, stating that only 222 people were killed in July.