This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
    This week, the war in Iraq officially ended.
    American troops lowered their command's flag on Thursday in a ceremonial close to nearly nine years of conflict. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke at the ceremony at a heavily protected area of an airport in Baghdad.

    LEON PANETTA: "To be sure, the cost was high -- the blood and treasure of the United States and also for the Iraqi people. But those lives have not been lost in vain. They gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq."

    Tens of thousands of Iraqis died in the military campaign known as Operation New Dawn. So did more than four thousand Americans. The American-led invasion quickly ousted Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. But violence between competing groups grew and pushed Iraq toward civil war. The violence has decreased sharply. But insurgents, some of them operating with Iranian support, continue attacks.

    Some American officials wanted to keep several thousand troops in Iraq after December thirty-first. The two countries agreed to that withdrawal date three years ago, when George W. Bush was still president. But the Obama administration failed to reach an agreement with Iraq on legal protection for American troops. A small number of troops will remain, mainly to protect diplomats.

    This week, some Iraqis celebrated the withdrawal of American troops. Others expressed worry, including Mohhamed Abbad Hussein, who is recovering from a bomb explosion.
    本周,一些伊拉克人庆祝美军撤离。另一些人则表示担心,其中就包括刚从炸弹爆炸中康复的Mohhamed Abbad Hussein。
    ABBAD HUSSEIN (IN ARABIC): "It's never going to end. People are going to continue to suffer. As long as there is a political crisis, it's never going to end."
    ABBAD HUSSEIN(阿拉伯语):“这永远不会结束,人们还将继续受罪。只要政治危机不解决,这一切就不会结束。”
    Murtadha Homadi, a guard with a local security company, had mixed feelings about the war.
    当地一家保安公司的警卫Murtadha Homadi对这场战争感情复杂。
    MURTADHA HOMADI (IN ARABIC): "We were really happy that Saddam Hussein fell. But, after that, many bad things happened, especially when al-Qaida started setting off bomb."
    MURTADHA HOMADI(阿拉伯文):“我们对萨达姆下台真的非常高兴。但是在这之后发生了许多不好的事情,尤其是当基地组织开始引爆炸弹。”

    Eleven-year-old Gohfran Yassir of Baghdad says she is always afraid.
    巴格达地区11岁的Gohfran Yassir说她总是害怕。
    GOHFRAN YASSIR: "I am scared that a bomb will go off, explosions and we will die, or we will be kidnapped or killed."
    Gohfran Yassir:“我担心炸弹会爆炸,我们会被炸死,或者会被绑架或杀害。”
    Many Iraqis worry that their country will fail if it is controlled only by politicians and religious militias. Human rights activist Sundus Abass says Iraq's future may depend more on the will of its people.
    许多伊拉克人担心如果国家由政客和宗教组织控制,伊拉克将会失败。人权活动家Sundus Abass表示,伊拉克的未来可能更多取决于人民的意愿。

    SUNDUS ABASS: "I am like other Iraqis, I am worried about this. Because there is no, nothing who can tell us that it will be fine after the Americans troops withdraw from Iraq. I think yes there will be more violence in Iraq."
    SUNDUS ABASS:“我像其他伊拉克人一样担心这些。因为没有任何人可以告诉我们,美军从伊拉克撤离后一切都会没事。是的,我认为伊拉克会发生更多暴力。”

    The invasion took place in March of two thousand three. Soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were among the first to enter Iraq. They also helped lead the troop increase in two thousand seven. This week, President Obama visited Fort Bragg to thank returning troops.

    BARACK OBAMA: "So as your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I am proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree: Welcome home. [Cheers] "

    Mr. Obama spoke of the sacrifices made by service members.
    BARACK OBAMA: "More than 1.5 million Americans have served in Iraq -- 1.5 million. Over thirty thousand Americans have been wounded. Those are only the wounds that show. Nearly forty-five hundred Americans made the ultimate sacrifice."

    Mr. Obama called the results of the war "an extraordinary achievement."
    BARACK OBAMA: "Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people."