US and Iraqi politicians have held ceremonies to mark the end of US "combat operations" in the country and the reduction of American troops to less than 50,000.
The United States has branded its new phase of deployment in Iraq as "Operation New Dawn", ending "Operation Iraqi
Sabah Al-Mukhtar, an Iraqi political analyst, told Al Jazeera that the ceremonies could only be viewed negatively by ordinary Iraqis:
"It is a very painful day for the Iraqi people to watch the Iraqi withdrawal celebrations, which began by telling them that the occupier is celebrating in the palace of their president or, be it, he was a dictator; and ending it with the God save America song, as well as the Christian prayer.
"This is not a very happy day for the Iraqis, at the end of the day, the Iraqi people have suffered. So many people died, the country is destroyed.
"The Americans are talking about how they are feeling sorry for the 4,000 soldiers who were killed in a battle that they have started and nobody asked them for. They are now talking about building Iraq in the next seven month, as if the seven years that has passed achieved anything.
"So we are told in the next seven month they will achieve their miracles and if we listen to all their speeches about their education initiatives and suddenly the generals and all the politicians have remembered all the history of Iraq as if they have just brought it into life. So it is a really disturbing way of looking at it from outside the US.
"The Iraqi politicians are extremely concerned about their own future, The Americans are leaving and you mark my word they will in a short time they will begin to have differences because this is a sinking ship."