Last U.S. Combat Envoy Leaves Iraq

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Some of the last U.S. combat troops leave Iraq and cross the border into Kuwait in this August 18, 2010 video frame grab.

REUTERS/Department of Defense/Handout

The last U.S. brigade combat team has left Iraq, leaving 56,000 American troops in the country. President Obama has stated that his goal is to have 50,000 troops in Iraq by September 1.

The team, which consisted of 4,000 troops, crossed the border into Kuwait Thursday morning, while a few hundred soldiers stayed behind to serve administrative duties before leaving later today.

Obama has said 90,000 troops have left Iraq in the past 18 months. Six thousand soldiers must leave Iraq before combat operations are officially over, leading to Obama’s next step, Operation New Dawn, where military priorities will shift to “an advise-and-assist role,” CNN reports.

Combat troops first arrived in Iraq seven years ago. The Pentagon says 4,419 soldiers have died there.