Bush: U.S. troops may protect selves from Iranians
Reuters | January 26, 2007
President George W. Bush said on Friday U.S. forces in Iraq have authority to protect themselves against Iranians attempting to launch attacks inside Iraq.
"It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops or stop us from achieving our goals or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them," Bush said. "It's an obligation we all have to protect our folks and achieve our goals."
But Bush said any operations against Iranians would be conducted only inside Iraq. Two weeks ago his comments about going after Iranian networks operating in Iraq prompted speculation in Washington that the United States might launch attacks inside Iran.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, he said "that's a presumption that simply is not accurate. We believe that we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically."
Bush spoke after talks with Army Gen. David Petraeus, just confirmed by the U.S. Senate to take command of the Iraq war.
Faced with opposition from many in the U.S. Congress to his new Iraq strategy of sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq, Bush said those opposed should offer their own plan.
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