U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama told reporters Saturday he remains committed to ending the war in Iraq.
The Democratic senator is trying to end speculation that he is inching away from a promise to withdraw troops within 16 months of taking office.
On Thursday, Republicans accused Obama of reversing his position after Obama said he might refine his timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Obama said Saturday he was puzzled by the frenzy that resulted from, what he called,"an innocuous statement."
He said he continues to believe that the war in Iraq was a strategic mistake that should be brought to an end.
Republican candidate John McCain has said the United States cannot risk progress made in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. troops without concern for conditions on the ground.
McCain says U.S. troops could be in Iraq for many years and that a greater military commitment is needed to achieve long-term success.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.