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US Officially Ends 13-Year Combat Mission in Afghanistan

ArmyChopperPresident Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have announced the official end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, DoD News reported Sunday.

Operation Enduring Freedom was formally concluded during a ceremony held Sunday at the International Security and Assistance Force’s Kabul headquarters, according to DoD News.

“We give thanks to our troops and intelligence personnel who have been relentless against the terrorists responsible for 9/11 — devastating the core al-Qaida leadership, delivering justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupting terrorist plots and saving countless American lives,” President Obama was quoted as saying.

He added that the U.S. will maintain a strategic partnership with the Afghan government and keep a limited number of troops in the Middle East country.

According to Hagel, the U.S. will launch the follow-on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel mission in 2015.

“We will work with our allies and partners as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission to continue training, advising and assisting Afghan security forces,” Hagel stated, DoD News reports.

“And we will continue our counterterrorism mission against the remnants of Al-Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against our homeland,” he added.

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