Petraeus: More violence in Iraq

US General David Petraeus has said that anti-government forces in Iraq have sought to intensify attacks during a security crackdown in Baghdad.

Petraeus: More violence in Iraq
Petraeus, in his first news conference in Baghdad since taking command of US forces in Iraq last month, said on Thursday that sectarian killings and displacement were down in recent weeks in the capital.
 
He told reporters on Wednesday that a US-backed Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad will take months but there have already been encouraging signs of progress.
 
"[It's] too early to discern significant trends, (but) there have been a few encouraging signs," he said.
 

Petraeus however said US and Iraqi forces would press ahead with the plan while "recognising that some sensational attacks inevitably will continue to take place".

 

Political action

 

He also denounced the recent wave of other attacks, including the "thugs with no soul" who have killed more than 150 Shia pilgrims in the past three days.

 

But Petraeus said it was "critical" for Iraqi leaders to halt any drift toward sectarian conflict.

 

He also said that US and Iraqi security forces can not solve the problem of violence in Iraq without political action from Iraqi leaders and reconciliation with disaffected groups.

 

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.

 

"Military action is necessary to help improve security ... but it is not sufficient."

   

He said political progress would require talking to and reconciling with "some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them".

 

No more troops needed

 

Petraeus also said that he currently saw no immediate need to request more US troops be sent to Iraq than other those already announced.

 

"Right now we do not see other requests [for troops] looming out there," he said.

 

"That's not to say that some emerging mission or emerging task will not require that, and if it does then we will ask for that."

 

Petraeus took command of US troops in Iraq last month at a critical time, having been appointed to oversee president George Bush's new strategy in Iraq.

 

The new plan aims to halt the daily carnage of suicide bombs and death squad killings in Baghdad in an attempt to prevent Iraq descending into full-scale civil war.

   

Bush has promised to send 21,500 more troops, mostly to Baghdad, to help the Shia-led government of prime minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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