General Raymond Odierno, top military leader in Iraq, refused to offer a certain date which would mark the end of an American presence in the city of Mosul. Odierno said US forces were in the midst of a neighborhood-by-neighborhood sweep of Mosul in order to have the city safe to hand over on June 30th to Iraqi troops. “We expect that to end here within about 30-45 days, and then there will be a decision to be made.” He hopes the operations to end terrorism in the city will be completed before the deadline.
The problem is suicide bombings continue and it becomes increasingly clear the optimistic Bush statements concerning “success of the surge” were hyperbole and not close to reality. The Iraq army is far from being an effective fighting force.