Iraqi president: US may withdraw up to 50,000 soldiers
The United States may withdraw as many as 50,000 soldiers from Iraq by the end of the year because there are enough Iraqi troops ready to take control of parts of the country, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told the Washington Post.
In an interview published on Tuesday, Talabani added he would discuss reductions in American forces during a private meeting with President George W. Bush and said he thought Washington could pull some troops out immediately.
"We think that America has the full right to move some forces from Iraq to their country because I think we can replace them (with) our forces," Talabani said. "In my opinion, at least from 40,000 to 50,000 American troops can be (withdrawn) by the end of this year."
The United States deployed some 140,000 troops in Iraq. Before next month's constitutional referendum, the Pentagon intends to boost the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by about 1,500 to 2,000.