Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The U.S. presence in Iraq may be less noticeable now that troops have pulled out of cities, but the top U.S. commander there is promising his forces aren't leaving yet.
Gen. Ray Odierno says 130,000 troops will remain in Iraq and continue to support Iraqi security forces and improve stability.
Attacks have left hundreds dead in the run-up to today's deadline for U.S. troops to pull back into bases outside the cities. The violence raged today, even as Iraqis celebrated the U.S. pullback. At least 24 people were killed in a car bombing at a crowded market in Kirkuk. Yesterday, four U.S. soldiers died in combat in Baghdad.
Odierno says the deaths show "there are still dangers out there," but he says he's confident Iraqis can handle the challenge.