Six weeks before the target date for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraqi cities – and amid a recent spike in violence — it remains unclear how many troops will stay on, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Sunday that a “responsible” redeployment would not affect security.
[efoods]In a statement after meeting with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Baghdad, Maliki said the Iraqi government would not need large numbers of U.S. troops inside cities “after we get control of them.”
A status of forces agreement drawn up late last year provides for U.S. troops to redeploy out of urban areas by the end of June; for all combat operations to end by the end of August 2010; and for all troops to withdraw from the country by the end of 2011. There are currently 134,000 American troops in Iraq.
Pelosi’s office said in a statement that Maliki and Iraqi parliamentary speaker Ayad al-Samarai had confirmed their commitment to implementing the terms of the agreement.
This article was posted: Monday, May 11, 2009 at 11:36 am