Saturday, December 3, 2011

Camp Victory Now Under Iraqi Control

VOA News, Dec. 2
The base that once served as headquarters for the U.S. military in Iraq is now under Iraqi control.

A United States military spokesman said U.S. officials handed over Camp Victory to Iraq Friday, after officials from both countries signed the necessary paperwork. There was no formal handover ceremony.

About 13,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, but are scheduled to leave by the end of the month. The pullout will end a military presence that began with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Camp Victory Fast Facts
A look at the sprawling military complex near Baghdad, that served as hub of U.S. operations:

■U.S. military headquarters in Iraq since 2003

■Constructed around lavish palace complex built by Saddam Hussein

■Saddam was imprisoned here before his 2006 execution

■Top U.S. military officials lived in complex, encircled by 42 km of protective walls

■Iraqis considering several ideas for future of complex including possible use as military barracks, cultural center, five-star hotels

Camp Victory, a sprawling U.S. military compound on the outskirts of Baghdad, had served as the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq since 2003.

Top U.S. military officials lived at the site, which is encircled by 42 kilometers of protective walls.

At its height, the base was home to more than 40,000 troops and military-related personal.

The sprawling base was built on and around a lavish palace complex constructed by late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Saddam was imprisoned at the compound before his trial and execution in 2006.

The Wall Street Journal says Iraqis are considering a number of ideas on the future use of the complex, including as a military barracks, a cultural center or five-star hotels.

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