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Tags: Iraq military not ready

Iraq's Top General: Army Not Ready Until 2020

Thursday, 12 August 2010 09:35 AM EDT

The Iraqi army is not ready to take over responsibility from the Americans, its most senior general has warned, as the White House insists the US army is on course to end its combat role in the country by the end of this month, England's The Guardian newspaper reports.

Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari told a defence conference in Baghdad that the Iraqi army would be unable to cope without backing from US forces.

He suggested the Iraqi army would be incapable of assuming control for another decade.

"If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020," he said.

This is not the first time Zebari has said Iraq needs the Americans to stay longer, but the timing of his comments makes them significant.

Barack Obama has pledged to hand over military responsibility to the Iraqi government by the end of the August as part of plan to reduce troop levels to 50,000.

Read the entire story at guardian.co.uk

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Iraq military not ready
Thursday, 12 August 2010 09:35 AM
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