Iraq Transitions As U.S. Forces Withdraw After 8-Year Presence

Iraq Transitions As U.S. Forces Withdraw After 8-Year Presence

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – DECEMBER 12: Widow Wafaa Shahab (C) holds a photo of her deceased husband Bassim Muhammed while posing with her sons Nooreldin Bassim (L) and Ahmed Bassim on December 12, 2011 in Baghdad, Iraq. Muhammed was said to have been executed by al Qaeda militants in front of his house, forcing Shahab and her three children to flee to Syria and northern Iraq for three years. Nooreldin and Ahmed witnessed the killing. A study by Relief International concluded that around10 percent of the approximately 15 million women living in Iraq are widows. A United Nations report estimated that nearly 100 women were widowed daily at the height of the sectarian violence in 2006. Iraq is transitioning nearly nine years after the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation. American forces are now in the midst of the final stage of withdrawal from the war-torn country. At least 4,485 U.S. military personnel have died in service in Iraq. According to the Iraq Body Count, more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died from war-related violence. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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