Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gates: Congressional limits on U.S. mission could unleash 'significant ethnic cleansing'

Bodies of Sunnis claimed from the morgue following a killing spree by Shi'ite police in revenge for a car bombing in a Shia market at the end of March in Tal Afar. 152 were killed in the bombing and 70 slain in the killing spree that followed.

Congressional proposals to restrict U.S. military operations in Iraq by providing only targeted funding could unleash more ethnic bloodshed there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

Limiting war funding to only certain training or counterterrorism missions could pull troops from Baghdad neighborhoods, which have been the focus of the latest military buildup in Iraq.

"One real possibility is, if we abandon some of these areas and withdraw into the countryside or whatever to do these targeted missions, that you could have a fairly significant ethnic cleansing inside Baghdad or in Iraq more broadly," Gates said in a radio interview Wednesday with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.

Read the rest at the Guardian