US military forces abandoned the largest of their remaining bases in Iraq today, a former Saddam-era palace, bringing the total number of bases the US has inside Iraq down to only 20, from a former high of over 500.
The US appears to have taken virtually everything of even marginal value out of the palace on their way out, and reports say that the troops even took Saddam’s toilet with them, which will wind up in some US museum, officials say.
The US still has about 39,000 troops in Iraq, which under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) it is obliged to remove by the end of next month. US officials insist they will comply.
Reports are that the US is planning to replace its direct occupation both with an army of State Department contractors inside Iraq and a massive deployment of combat troops in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government denied the report, however, saying they didn’t expect a long-term buildup in their nation after the troops leave Iraq.