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Clinton warns Iran on Iraq interference

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday implicitly warned Iran not to interfere in Iraq after the decision to pull all American troops out of the war-wracked state by the end of the year. Clinton, on a visit to Tajikistan, echoed President Barack Obama’s comments that the United States…

Hundreds protest flag ruling in disputed Iraq town

KHANAQIN, Iraq — Hundreds rallied in the disputed Iraqi town of Khanaqin on Sunday to demand the reversal of a central government ruling barring the flag of the autonomous Kurdish region in official buildings. The town, which has refused to follow the directive, lies within territory claimed by both the…

U.S. to sell 18 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq: Pentagon

The United States is “very close” to sealing a deal to sell 18 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq, a top Pentagon official announced Wednesday. Iraq had frozen the $4.2 billion deal earlier this year amid the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings, but the prospects were “promising” for the contract to now…

Pentagon plays down comments on US role in Iraq

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested that Iraq had agreed to keep American troops in the country beyond a 2011 deadline, but Baghdad insisted the issue was still under negotiation. In an interview with two US newspapers published Friday, Panetta said the Iraqis appeared to have made up their mind…

Iraq’s Sadr warns of ‘war’ if U.S. presence extended

NAJAF, Iraq — A radical anti-US Shiite cleric warned of “war” if US forces stayed in Iraq beyond a year-end deadline for their withdrawal, in a brief statement viewed on Wednesday. Moqtada al-Sadr did not give any further details in the written reply to a follower’s question, released by his…

Iraq to open talks with U.S. on military training

Iraq will open talks with Washington over a military training mission to last beyond a 2011 pullout deadline, Baghdad’s Foreign Minister said on Wednesday, after months of US appeals for a decision. The move is a key first step to reaching an agreement on the future of the US troop…

U.S. troops in Iraq will need legal immunity: U.S. chief

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Any agreement for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq beyond a year-end deadline for their withdrawal would require the Iraqi parliament to agree to grant American soldiers legal immunity, the top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday. Immunity for American troops staying on in Iraq could complicate…

Top U.S. officer pushes for troop decision in Iraq

Iraq must decide on the future of the US troop presence in the country as soon as possible and include provisions on immunity for American soldiers, the top US military officer said in Baghdad on Tuesday. The remarks by Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,…

Iraq PM seeks US expertise in rebuilding work

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told visiting US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Saturday that Baghdad wants American companies to work on reconstruction projects in Iraq, the premier’s office said. “Iraq is planning to improve roads, seaports and airports, and make use of the experience by American companies…

U.S. combat troops may stay in Iraq beyond 2011, Gates admits

CAMP MAREZ, Iraq (AFP) – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that American forces were prepared to stay in any role beyond a scheduled pullout late this year, but time was running out for Iraq to ask. Gates, who arrived in Baghdad late Wednesday on an unannounced visit, met…

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