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Apr 10

Written by: Diana West
Friday, April 10, 2009 12:33 PM 

Get this:

"The activities of al-Qaeda in two of Iraq’s most troubled cities could keep US combat troops engaged beyond the June 30 deadline for their withdrawal, the top US commander in the country has warned."

So reports the London Times. Now, is it just me, or do you ever get the feeling we're getting played for suckers by AQ? The Times goes on:

"US troop numbers in Mosul and Baqubah, in the north of the country, could rise rather than fall over the next year if necessary, General Ray Odierno told The Times ....

"He said that a joint assessment would be conducted with the Iraqi authorities in the coming weeks before a decision is made.

"Combat troops are due to leave all Iraqi cities by the end of June. Any delay would be a potential setback for President Obama, who has pledged to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by August 2010 as he switches his focus to Afghanistan.

"The ultimate decision on keeping or withdrawing troops would be taken by Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, ...."

The ultimate decision on United States troops belongs to the Iraqi PM???? I guess that's according to our rent-a-cop contract, I mean, SOFA with Iraq.

Meanwhile:

"Tens of thousands of supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shia cleric, marched through Baghdad yesterday, the sixth anniversary of the fall of the capital, to demand the withdrawal of US forces.

"General Odierno, 54, said that he was also concerned about the risk of renewed conflict between Arabs and Kurds in northern Iraq, where tensions are rising over the ownership of territory. He also cited the “very dangerous” threat posed by Iranian-funded militants, who appear to be styling themselves on Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

"General Odierno, a bald, imposing 6ft 5in, was speaking as he sat outside the back of the Saddam-era mansion that he calls home, next to a man-made lake on a military base in Baghdad."

Maybe Gen. O should plan to move in for good--if that's okay with PM Maliki.

 

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