New defense chief in Iraq, to press on drawdown

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2011 11:14 AM
New defense chief in Iraq, to press on drawdown

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Leon Panetta arrived in Iraq on Sunday on his first trip there as U.S. defense secretary, saying he would press Baghdad to decide on the future U.S. military presence and to go after militants attacking U.S. forces with Iranian rockets.

The United States is scheduled to withdraw all of its remaining 46,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year, under the terms of a bilateral security pact -- despite U.S. and Iraqi military concerns about expected gaps in security.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Louise Ireland)