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US troop withdrawal rethink over Iraq violence

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Lara Jakes
The Scotsman
May 12, 2010

SERIOUS concerns over increased violence in Iraq, fuelled by post-election instability, have forced US commanders to reconsider the pace of a major troop withdrawal this summer.
More than two months after parliamentary elections, the next government has still not been formed. On Monday, in the country’s bloodiest day this year, at least 119 people died in bombings and shootings by militants aiming to exploit the void.

The threat has prompted US military officials to work out how to keep as many troops on the ground for as long as possible, and still withdraw all but 50,000 US troops of the 92,000 in the country by 31 August, as ordered by president Barack Obama.

In January, the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, said he hoped to start withdrawing up to 12,500 troops a month, starting this month, to meet the August deadline.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 10:00 am

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