PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Obama on Friday declared an end to the war in Iraq and announced all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year.

“As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” Obama said.

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The Iraq war is one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history in during which more than 4,400 American military members died since the beginning of the conflict in 2003. Obama’s statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011.

“Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays,” Obama said.

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The President made the announcement from the White House after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and said the two leaders agreed on the decision.

Obama said the final U.S. soldiers will leave with their “heads held high.”

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