Last US base handed to Iraq ahead of pullout
By Salam Faraj (AFP) – 4 hours ago
NASIRIYAH, Iraq — Iraq took control of the last American military base in the country on Friday, a day after US forces marked the end of their mission, bringing a divisive war to a low-key conclusion.
The transfer of the sprawling installation on the outskirts of the southern city of Nasiriyah is a final step ahead of a complete US withdrawal from Iraq in the coming days.
The Imam Ali Base, known to the US military as Camp Adder, housed 15,000 American troops at its peak and was officially signed over at a ceremony attended by US Colonel Richard Kaiser and Hussein al-Assadi, the Iraqi official in charge of base transfers.
"We proudly announce to the Iraqi people today the handover of the last American military base," Assadi said after the signing. "Today we are turning the last page on the occupation."
"It's an honour to have been the commander of this base, and to be the one to sign over the last large base in Iraq," Kaiser told AFP.
"It's truly an honour... I feel very proud of all the work we've done together" with Iraq.
After the two men signed documents transferring the base to Iraq, Iraqi Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Hakim Abboud said it marked "a day of freedom."