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Head of Iraqi army: U.S. troops will be able to withdraw by 2008

Head of Iraqi army: U.S. troops will be able to withdraw by 2008

Iraqi forces will have sufficient strength and equipment to allow for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops by 2008, the Iraqi army's chief of staff said Friday.
Gen. Babaker B. Shawkat Zebari's assessment comes as President George W. Bush has said he wants to deploy 21,500 additional U.S. troops to the war-torn country as part of a new security plan _ a move criticized by Democratic lawmakers, and some Republicans.
Zebari, who visited Fort Riley to observe the training of U.S. transition teams advising Iraqi forces, said he envisions that the Iraqi army would soon be able to provide security for its own nation and "stand shoulder-to-shoulder" with the U.S. and other countries in the larger fight against terrorism.
The additional U.S. soldiers will be sufficient to restore order in Iraq, he said, speaking through a translator.
Wearing civilian clothes, including a heavy winter coat, Zebari watched U.S. soldiers train with others playing the role of Iraqi soldiers. He said the training was good, but he noted that successful training of Iraqi forces will require increased cultural awareness by Americans.
Maj. Gen. Carter Ham, commander for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, said he suggested that Zebari send Iraqi soldiers to the northeast Kansas post for training, and Zebari agreed it was a good idea.


Updated : 2021-03-02 10:38 GMT+08:00