US Struggles to Downplay Threat After Major Iraq Bombings

Iraqi VP: Forces 'Depend Completely' on US

A US military spokesman in Baghdad today insisted that militants “are greatly reduced in capacity and numbers,” just one day after a bombing at the reconciliation conference in Iraq killed 33 people. The bombing was the second major attack in Baghdad this week – the other one killed 32 people on Sunday in an attack at a police academy.

The Obama Administration has struggled to defend its slow pullout of forces from Iraq while insisting that great progress is being made in the nation. The task will only be more complex as the bombings escalate the death toll for 2009.

Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi declared that the government had fallen short in its efforts to reconcile Sunnis and Shi’ites. In an interview Hashemi also warned that he had doubts about the readiness of Iraqi forces to take over combat operations when US forces withdraw, saying “our forces still depend completely on the American forces for logistics.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.