WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is saluting U.S. troops for their conduct during the war in Iraq, declaring on the 10th anniversary of the start of the war that the sacrifice of Americans gave the Iraqi people "an opportunity to forge their own future after many years of hardship."

Obama opposed the war and ran for president on a pledge to end it. The last U.S. troops left in 2011.

In a statement Tuesday, Obama said the nation honors the memory of nearly 4,500 Americans who died in Iraq.

He said the U.S. still needs to meet its obligations toward those who served in Iraq, including more than 30,000 wounded. He said the nation must improve treatment for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.