Half of Iraq will be controlled by its own security forces in two months time – that is the message from the country´s deputy prime minister. Barham Salih made the comments during a meeting with British Premier Tony Blair in London. Downing Street has denied claims it has been pressing Baghdad to draw up an exit timetable for British troops.
Salih said Iraq could not be abandoned and would need the West´s enduring support – though stressed his country´s committment to assuming security control: “The Iraqi government wants to convince the international community that it is serious about assuming its responsabilities and we understand that we need to demonstrate progress on the ground for our people and the international community.”
Security forces will have their work cut out for them.
US military officials have admitted that a two month plan to secure Baghad has not curbed the bloodshed.
Iraqi security forces bear the brunt of much of the militia violence. Highlighting the problems faced in signing up new recruits yesterday, at least 15 officers were killed when their bus was ambushed by gunmen.