Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is asking his followers to cease attacks against U.S. targets until the end of the year when U.S. forces are scheduled to complete their withdrawal from Iraq. According to a statement posted online today, should any Americans remain after Dec. 31, Sadr promises that attacks “will resume with greater vigor.” The goal is to eliminate one significant reason for a troop extension.
The new appeal, however, did not prevent three bombs from blasting a U.S. patrol near Qalat Sikar village in Dhi Qar province. Casualties, if any, were not reported. At least one Iraqi was killed and 13 others were wounded in other violence.
KABUL – The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister who set up a secret meeting between a senior Taliban official and a U.S. general two years ago. They also … Continue reading “Ex-PM Says Taliban Offer Talks For Pullout Date”
Updated at 8:29 p.m. EDT, Aug. 18, 2010
The last brigade of U.S. combat troops crossed the border into Kuwait very early Thursday morning local time, two weeks ahead of the official drawdown deadline set by Washington. Although approximately 50,000 personnel will remain in Iraq and combat conditions will continue for many of those left behind, the withdrawal of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is a symbolic end to combat operations.
Separately, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday where he met with leaders to formally accept his new post. Baghdad was also the scene of numerous if small attacks against government officials, but the most gruesome attack occurred in Diyala where gunmen left the following message on their victims: “This is the future for all those who cooperate with the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces.” Overall, at least 25 Iraqis were killed and 33 more were wounded.
Reminiscent of the political problems in Afghanistan that have plagued the Obama White House, last Monday Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi vetoed a set of amendments to Iraq’s election law approved by the Iraqi parliament. The veto may lead to a delay of the Iraqi elections, currently scheduled for Jan. 21, 2010, and could trigger … Continue reading “Don’t Let Iraqi Politics Affect US Withdrawal”
Updated at 6:18 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2009
Today is the deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities. Across Iraq, at least 36 Iraqis were killed and 97 more were wounded. Four U.S. soldiers were killed in a combat incident shortly before pullout yesterday in Baghdad.
Updated at 6:40 p.m. EDT, June 29, 2009
With the U.S. withdrawal deadline looming, Iraqi forces spent Monday assuring citizens of their ability to handle security and declared tomorrow “National Sovereignty Day.” At least 14 Iraqis were killed and 13 more were wounded in the latest attacks. One U.S. soldier was killed in combat yesterday in Baghdad.
Updated at 6:30 p.m. EDT, June 28, 2009
Widespread sand storms blanketed much of central and northern Iraq, curtailing attacks, or at least the reports of violence. The storms also delayed the awarding of oil contracts. Iraq forces are using the break, however, to bolster their defenses ahead of the U.S. withdrawal from the cities. Iraq has cancelled leave for all policemen. Gen. Ray Odierno believes the Iraqis are ready for Tuesday’s handover. He also said that a recent surge in attacks would likely hurt extremists more than it does their victims. Still, at least five Iraqis were killed and 21 more were wounded across the country.