Iraq: Four U.S. troops killed, PM to visit Iran, Turkey
Four American troops died in Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Friday. The military said a roadside bomb killed three soldiers on patrol in eastern Baghdad on Thursday during operations targeting Shi'ite and Sunni militants. Eleven others were wounded. A fourth soldier died in combat in a western district.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will visit Iran and Turkey next week to discuss security issues and the need for cooperation amid tensions with both countries. According to the AP, the Shiite leader will lead a delegation to Turkey on Tuesday and to Iran the next day "to discuss the bilateral relations between Iraq and these two countries in the political, economic and security fields," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.
Al-Maliki is likely to focus on persuading Turkey not to stage an incursion into the Kurdish north. The trip to Iran will be al-Maliki's second since taking office in May 2006.
Al-Maliki's Dawa Party is closely allied with Iran as are other Shiite parties in his government.