Almotamar.net, AP - BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's government welcomed reports Wednesday of a U.S. combat troop withdrawal next year and said Iraqi forces would be ready to take full responsibility for security.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports an accelerated pullout and Iraqi officials will work closely with American commanders under a possible timetable to remove U.S. soldiers from the battlefield by August 2010, said Sadiq al-Rikabi, one of al-Maliki's top advisers.
The comments come after reports that President Barack Obama was expected to order all U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by August of next year. An announcement by Obama could come as early as this week, a senior White House official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Al-Rikabi said al-Maliki expressed "no worry" about U.S. forces moving out quicker than the standing agreement for a withdrawal by the end of 2011.
"The Iraqi troops are ready to take responsibility. There is nothing to worry about and the withdrawal will be carried out in coordination between the two sides," he said.
Obama's announcement will speed up the timeline of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact, which took effect Jan. 1, calling for American troops to withdraw from Iraq's cities by June 30 and completely pull out troops by the end of 2011.
For months, al-Maliki has publicly said he believes Iraq's security forces are prepared to stand on their own despite lingering questions about their readiness.
But the withdrawal of combat troops under Obama's plan would still have U.S. troops in Iraq well after parliamentary elections this year, which military officials have said is one of the next big security tests. There are more than 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Reaction among Iraqis was mixed.
"I have no trust with Iraqi security forces that they could keep security because army and security forces were built on a sectarian basis," sad Thabit Mohammed Jassim, a 40-year-old Sunni shop owner in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown.
Jassim said he believed violence would likely climb after American combat troops leave Iraq.
"Obama wants to withdraw not for Iraqis, but because of economic problems they face internally and of hardships his troops are facing in Iraq," he said.
But Hussein Jassim Mohammed, a 35-year-old Shiite from Baghdad, said he would like to see U.S. troops leave sooner rather than later.
"We hope the withdrawal will take place sooner, before the given timetable," he said, adding that it was "a good step for Iraqis to secure" their own country.
Mohammed said there were some who worried about an increase in violence, but said it was time for "security forces to live up to their responsibility."
But in Mosul, where U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to battle insurgents, Ziyad al-Sinjari, a 35-year-old Sunni, was less optimistic about the stability of the Iraqi security forces.
"The new Iraqi army lacks experts. It needs the expertise of former Iraqi military officers," said al-Sinjari, who works at Mosul University. "I hope the withdrawal will be soon, so militants have no pretext of launching attacks against Americans in cities and hurting (civilians)."
In Najaf, a Shiite shrine city in southern Iraq, Ibrahim Ihsan said he wants to see foreign forces leave Iraq.
"I have no doubts that Iraqi soldiers are qualified to shoulder the security responsibilities in the country," said the 55-year-old retiree.
The Presidential decree No. 43 for 2014 was issued on Sunday on the regulation of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
Also the Presidential decree No. 44 for 2014 was issued appointing officials at the Central Organization for Control and Auditing, (COCA) as follows;
- Ameen Mohamed Qassem al-Sherai, Undersecretary of Administrative Units & Subsidized Entities of Sector;
- Fahmi Mohamed Mansour Mohamed, Undersecretary of Audit Sector of Administrative Units & Subsidized Entities;
Yemen and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding included providing support worth $ 500 million to improve the food security in Yemen.
The memorandum of understanding signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Mohammed al-Saadi and the WFP representative in Yemen Bishaw Parajuli stipulated the allocation of the support to help about six million Yemenis to face the challenges of food scarcity and food insecurity.
Gunmen have attacked a post office in Hadramout province, killing a security man and looting over 1.6 million rials.
Director General of Post Office of Hadramut valley and desert ,Ibrahim Ba-shuaib, explained to Saba that 12 militants riding a car stormed on Tuesday evening the post office in Hura town after they fired at the office guard who died immediately.
A UN survey shows over 40 % of the Yemeni population still struggle for food, UNICEF said on Tuesday.
The survey's preliminary findings indicated that over 10 million Yemenis don't know where their next meal will come from, while around five million people were found to be severely food insecure, suffering from levels of hunger where external food assistance is generally required.
The Comprehensive Food Security Survey also shows that the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under the age of five is beyond the international
The Group of Ten Ambassadors condemned on Monday the violence that has occurred in Amran and its surrounding areas.
In a statement issued by the Group on Monday and handed over to President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi by the U.S. and British ambassadors to Yemen, the Group of Ten Ambassadors condemned the violence that has occurred in Amran and surrounding areas in the north including the taking of the 310th Brigade with all its equipment and burning of the compound.
The Group called on all parties to cease armed conflict that has claimed and continues to claim Yemeni lives. The Group stressed that the Houthis, militias affiliated with political parties, and all armed groups and parties involved in the violence, must stop the fighting, respect all cease-fire agreements they all have committed to, especially that of June 22nd, withdraw from Amran, and turn over weapons to authorities loyal to the national government.
President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has chaired a meeting with Defense Minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, Chief of staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal along with a number of military leaders..
The meeting discussed the latest developments on the ground especially events occurred in Amran province. He gave his orders to put security and military forces on alert in the capital Sana'a and neighboring provinces, praising the role played by security and armed forces in consolidating security, stability and public tranquility in