Al-Maliki Confident of US Withdrawal

McCain says that victory is in sight in Iraq. In contrast, Iraqi PM Nuri al-Malki says that at US troop withdrawal is in sight.

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that Kurdish MP Mahmud Osman is pledging that there will be no US bases in Iraqi Kurdistan without a national consensus on that issue. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous and some US politicians have called for siting bases there.

Iraq is increasing its police patrols on the Syrian border, in the wake of the US raid into Syria.

AFP reports that the US is deeply unpopular in Fallujah, where people want US troops out of Iraq.

Liz Sly argues that prfound elements of instability still characterize Iraq in general and Baghdad in specific.

3 of the Yemenis who recently attacked the US embassy in Sanaa had recently returned from Iraq. Those who worried than Iraq War would generate, rather than stifle, terrorism, appear amply vindicated by now.

The Lehrer News Hour on PBS gets the scoop that the draft Security Agreement between Iraq and the US may revoke legal immunity for private security guards contracting with the Department of Defense in Iraq; but it does not put security guards working for the US State Department under Iraqi jurisdiction.

At Tomdispatch.com, Andrew Bacevich looks at the expansion of Bush’s ‘war on terror’ even as the meaning of the gimmicky phrase has been watered down by stunts and domestic political talking points.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Saturday:

‘ Baghdad

A roadside bomb was discovered and later safely defused by the bomb squad in al-Bataween neighbourhood, central Baghdad at noon, Saturday.

Basra

A land mine detonated in an open area in al-Shiaiba, 30 km to the west of Basra city, Friday evening, where children get together to play. The explosion killed one boy and severely injured another.

Kirkuk

A shepherd accidentally set off an unexploded mortar shell in al-Tarqiyah village, to the west of Kirkuk city, Friday. He was injured and taken for treatment.

Local police found an IED near the police station in First Qadisiyah neighbourhood, central Kirkuk at 6.30 p.m. and were able to defuse it without damages or casualties.

Dohuk

Turkish artillery heavily bombarded villages in Amidi district, to the northeast of Dohuk city, Friday spreading fear amongst the residents without causing any casualties.

Mosul

Three gunmen driving a green sedan approached a checkpoint in al-Sukkar neighbourhood and opened fire at the Iraqi security forces manning it, killing two soldiers.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in the industrial neighbourhood of al-Karama, central Mosul injuring two policemen.

A parked car bomb targeted a police patrol in Baghdad Street, southern Mosul injuring two policemen.

Diyala

A roadside bomb exploded in al-Rabea village, Khanaqeen district at 8 a.m. Saturday injuring one civilian.

Gunmen abducted Omar Owaid Nasir near Himreen bridge, Saadiyah district, in northeastern Diyala late Friday. The gunmen took the man and left his car on the street.

Anbar

The observation post at the checkpoint across the main road from Camp Tariq, currently being used as an American military base in Garma, 18 km to the northeast of Fallujah, was blown up with an IED at 10 a.m. Saturday. The two Iraqi soldiers manning the post were killed.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol on the Sbaihat road near Garma this afternoon causing damages to the vehicle.’

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