Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari: *“Definitely this is a significant day, and it is the first practical implementation of the agreement on the withdrawal of troops signed by the Iraqi government. No one has to play down the importance of this day or the importance of the withdrawal. This is the first step that will help pave the way for a full withdrawal of the American and foreign forces from Iraq.”*

Despite losing formal control of Iraq’s urban centers, US forces will now be stationed in large military bases that in most cases encircle the areas they withdrew from.