Updated at 7:23 p.m. EST, Feb. 26, 2009
President Obama will address the nation tomorrow in what is expected to be a speech outlining his war plans. Back in Iraq, violence left at least three Iraqis killed and another 21 wounded. No Coalition deaths were reported. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti foreign minister made an official trip to Baghdad. It is the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Iraq invaded its small neighbor in 1990.
Ahead of an important speech on Iraq tomorrow, U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for an additional $75.5 billion dollars to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan war this year. Another $130 billion is requested for the 2010 fiscal year, which starts this October.
Tomorrow’s speech is expected to focus on a timeline for withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. Those close to the president said that although he has not made a final decision yet, Obama is leaning towards a slower withdrawal than promised during his campaign. Meanwhile, the Pentagon admitted that thousands of U.S. troops could remain in Iraq beyond the Obama’s timeline for the withdrawal anyway, as other military officials warned of the difficulties in weaning the Iraqi military off American help.
Meanwhile, British officials admitted their part in the rendition of suspects caught in Iraq.
The drama surrounding the murder and terror accusation of a parliamentarian continues. Bodyguards working for MP Mohamed al-Daini were freed on bail, even as police were asking for help in locating the lawmaker. Daini has denied the charges.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded 12 others, mostly college students, near the University of Baghdad in Jadiriyah. A bomb on Nidhal St. wounded three people. Security forces captured 19 suspects and freed one hostage.
Eleven al-Qaeda suspects were arrested Khalis.
Eight suspects were detained in Rashad.
Police are investigating an “accidental” blast in a Suleimaniya home.
In Nasariya, 28 members of a banned group were sentenced to death. Another 19 received life sentences. Six people were acquitted of their charges.
Almost 500 Iraqi soldiers who were killed in previous wars were reburied during a ceremony outside Basra. Some of the group had been repatriated from Iran late last year, but others had been waiting a lengthy time for a proper burial.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis