Panetta formally shuts down US war in Iraq

BAGHDAD - (AP) - The U.S. military has formally shut down the warin Iraq, officially retiring the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq.

Troops lowered the flag and wrapped it in camouflage, formally"casing" it, according to Army tradition.

The ceremony was attended by U.S. Defense Secretary LeonPanetta, who told troops they leave Iraq with "lasting pride." Panetta said veterans of the nearly nine-year conflict can be"secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi peopleto cast tyranny aside."

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, and Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, alsospoke at the ceremony at Baghdad International Airport.

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