Obama Hails Pullback in Iraq, Warns of More Violence
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama hailed the transfer of authority in Iraqi cities and towns, calling the long-planned move an "important step" toward a complete American pullout from the war that began six years ago.
Speaking in the East Room at an event for socially responsible innovators, Obama predicted more of the violence that has spiked in the last several days.
"There are those who will test Iraqi security," he said. "I'm confidant that those forces will fail. The future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy."
The president praised the military and civilians who served in Iraq, saying they remain "in the hearts and prayers" of people across the country.
Obama called the partial pullout "an important milestone" and said it will help the country to "responsibly" leave the country.
"The Iraqi people are rightly treating this day as a cause for celebration, he said.
Posted at 2:38 PM ET on Jun 30, 2009
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