Blackwater's Iraq Contract Ends

Virginia firm takes over security duties
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 7, 2009 8:06 AM CDT
In this Saturday, March 25, 2006 file photo, Blackwater security contractors guard former US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, center, as he arrives at a community sports center in Baghdad.   (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)
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(Newser) – Blackwater’s turbulent term in Iraq ends today with the expiration of its contract, CNN reports. The US opted not to renew the firm’s security services deal in January after Iraqi officials denied it a renewed operating license in the wake of a 2007 shooting in a public square. “We are honored to have provided this service for 5 years and are proud of our success,” said a rep.

When the US requested Blackwater’s help “with an immediate need to protect Americans in Iraq, we answered that call and performed well," said a spokeswoman for the firm, now called Xe. "But we always knew that, at some point, that work would come to a close." Xe’s operations will now fall to Virginia-based Triple Canopy in an expansion of its existing State Department contract.