*** Iraq independet with end to U.S. combat role - Maliki ***
Iraq independet with end to U.S. combat role - Maliki
31 Aug 2010 09:45:22 GMT
</SPAN> BAGHDAD, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Tuesday Iraq had gained independence with the end of U.S. combat operations and that its security forces would now deal with all threats, whether domestic or from abroad.
"Iraq today is sovereign and independent," Maliki told Iraqis in a televised address to mark the U.S. military's transition into a force that assists and advises rather than leads the fight against a Sunni Islamist insurgency and Shi'ite militia.
"Our security forces will take the lead in ensuring security and safeguarding the country and removing all threats that the country has to weather, internally or externally," Maliki said. (Reporting by Baghdad bureau; Writing by Michael Christie)
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