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Nov 8th, 2008

Iraq Repeats Insistence on Fixed Withdrawal Date

Baghdad leveraging Obama’s election to pressure Bush

A U.S. soldier secures the scene of a roadside bombing in Baghdad. Iraq wants nearly all U.S. combat troops to be gone by the end of 2011.
A U.S. soldier secures the scene of a roadside bombing in Baghdad.
Iraq wants nearly all U.S. combat troops to be gone by the end of 2011. (Photo credit: Khalid Mohammed /Associated Press)

By Ernesto Londoño, Mary Beth Sheridan, and Karen DeYoung

Nov. 7, 2008

BAGHDAD — Two days after the election of Barack Obama, Iraq’s chief spokesman said with unusual forcefulness Thursday that his government will continue to insist on a firm withdrawal date for U.S. troops, despite American demands that any pullout be subject to prevailing security conditions.

“Iraqis would like to know and see a fixed date,” spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in an interview in which he also reiterated Iraq’s position that American forces be subject to Iraqi legal jurisdiction in some instances.

Iraqi officials, who see President-elect Obama’s views on the timing of a U.S. withdrawal as consonant with their own, appear to be leveraging his election to pressure the Bush administration to make last-minute concessions. Dabbagh said negotiations to reach a status-of-forces agreement, which would sanction the U.S. military presence in Iraq beyond 2008, would collapse if no deal is reached by the end of this month. …

Dabbagh said American soldiers should be prosecuted in the Iraqi court system if they commit grave offenses outside their bases, unless they are on a joint mission with Iraqi troops. U.S. combat troops should cease operating unilaterally by June, Dabbagh said, and the status-of-forces agreement should say that the vast majority of U.S. troops must leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

“U.S. troops should be secluded to known camps,” Dabbagh said. “The Americans would be called whenever there is a need. Their movement would be limited.” …

Haider Abadi, a Shiite lawmaker who is a senior adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Obama’s stated goal of bringing American troops home relatively quickly is in line with the Iraqi government’s vision. …

U.S. and Iraqi officials say Iran’s government has been trying to persuade Iraqi lawmakers to reject the agreement. Lawmakers are also reluctant to express support for extending the presence of the U.S. military in Iraq for years because they fear it would hurt them politically in provincial and national elections scheduled to take place next year. …


Alarm Over Growing Use of “Sticky Bombs” in Iraq

Residents inspect the site where a roadside bomb went off, in Sulaikh neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, killing a civilian and injuring seven others included a police officer, police said. (Photo credit: Hadi Mizban / AP)

Nov. 7, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iraqi and U.S. officials are concerned about an apparent surge in “sticky bombs,” explosives fixed to vehicles with magnets or glue, as a tactic for assassinating Iraqi officials.

The use of such small explosives by Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militiamen is not a new phenomenon in more than five years of war in Iraq.

But U.S. and Iraqi security officials are paying renewed attention on the bombs in the last two months, especially in the capital Baghdad.

“It seems we have had an uptick, 21 sticky bombs in the last month of October (in Iraq),” U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steven Stover said. …

Bombs are usually stuck to the target’s car while it is parked then is triggered by remote control. …

They may be an efficient way to target politicians or low-level officials for assassination but they are too small to be used for mass killings that have been a favorite tactic of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda. …

[Iraqi security forces spokesman Qassim] Moussawi said a bomb-making factory that Iraqi security forces discovered in Baghdad last month contained 187 sticky bombs and 43 roadside bombs. …


Afghan Report Details U.S. Strike on Wedding

Image: Destruction from alleged airstrike.
Afghan men work on a house destroyed in an alleged U.S. airstrike in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Allauddin Khan / AP)

Nov. 7, 2008

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A U.S. coalition airstrike and clashes with Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan earlier this week killed 37 civilians and 26 insurgents, according to an Afghan government report released Friday.

The report also accused the Taliban militants of seeking shelter near a wedding party in the Kandahar province’s Shah Wali Kot district shortly after ambushing a coalition patrol on Monday, according to the findings compiled by the governor of Kandahar province.

The report said that another 27 civilians were wounded in the strike. … The majority of the civilians killed were woman and children, the report said. …

Following these deaths, President Hamid Karzai urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to help stop the killing of civilians in coalition operations, actions which undermine popular support for the Afghan government and the international mission.

On Thursday, another coalition airstrike killed seven civilians and 13 Taliban militants in the northwestern Badghis province, Afghan officials said. …


Related report on this site

Karzai: Stop Air-Raiding Civilians (Nov. 5, 2008)

3 Responses to “Iraqis Demand Withdrawal Date”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq-AfPak War Update Says:

    […] Iraqis Demand Withdrawal Date […]

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    […] Iraqis Demand Withdrawal Date […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » ‘Day of Defeating the Occupier’ Celebrated in Iraq Says:

    […] Iraqis Demand Withdrawal Date (Nov. 8, 2008) […]

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