US Surge Brigades Leave Iraq

147K troops now in country, down from about 170K at height of effort
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 10:47 AM CDT
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told the AP in an interview that the US troop surge has brought more stability to Iraq.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The American troop surge in Iraq has ended, Reuters reports, with the departure of the last of five brigades deployed last year in an effort to curb sectarian violence. There are now just under 147,000 US troops left in the country, according to a military spokesman, down from a peak of 160,000-170,000 in 2007.

The US military credits the troop surge with a pronounced drop in violence in Iraq, claiming attacks are at a 4-year low. Personnel levels in Iraq still remain higher than the 130,000 troops at the time the surge was ordered, as well as the 140,000 initially estimated to remain after the surge was completed.