The new commander of US forces in Iraq has told his first news conference that security forces, on their own, cannot beat violence there. General David Petraeus said disaffected and divided groups must be reconciled with political action. General Petraeus said insurgents have tried to intensify their actions during a security crackdown in Baghdad over the past three weeks… calling them “thugs with no soul”.
But he said he saw no need for any more extra soldiers other than those which have already been requested. The 141,000 US troops in Iraq are due to be reinforced by a further 21,500. General Petraeus has also asked for more than 2,000 military police.