Wednesday, March 14, 2007

President Talabani: Iraq will be overrun with Shiite and Kurd militias if U.S. withdraws

Amman (DPA) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani warned in remarks published Tuesday that if US troops pulled out prematurely from Iraq, the country 'will be overrun' by Kurdish and Shiite militias.

'Frankly speaking, we believe that if the US army withdraws, there will be a Kurdish and Shiite military domination of the country,' Talabani said in an interview with the daily newspaper al-Rai.

'Hundreds of thousands of trained Kurds and Shiites are ready and they can overrun all of Iraq. We in the Kurdistan province can dominate the city of Musel and all Arab areas there in a few hours,' added Talabani, who is recovering at King Hussein Medical Centre where he was transferred two weeks ago after a sudden illness.

The Iraqi president, who himself leads a Kurdish party backed with a militia, said that a US pullout from Iraq at this juncture 'will not be in the interest of the country.'

'A real Iraqi force involving all components of the Iraqi people should be ready before a US withdrawal,' he added.

Read the rest at AINA

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Perspective: The life and times of Jalal Talabani