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KHABARI CROSSING, KUWAIT — The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighbouring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief. Their convoy’s exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered and struggling to recover.
As of Thursday, there were two U.S. bases and less than 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq — a dramatic drop from the roughly 500 military installations and as many as 170,000 troops during the surge ordered by Bush in 2007, when violence was at its worst. As of Saturday night, that was down to one base — Camp Adder — and the final 500 soldiers.