Iraq agrees to extend US military role: Panetta
AFP - published with license
The United States said Friday Iraq had agreed to keeping US troops in the country beyond a year-end deadline for withdrawal, but Baghdad insisted the issue is still under negotiation.
In an interview with two US newspapers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the Iraqis had made up their mind to extend the presence of American troops.
"My view is that they finally did say, ‘Yes,'" Panetta was quoted as saying by Stars and Stripes.
Iraqi political leaders announced on August 3 that they would open talks with the United States over a possible training mission after 2011 but have yet to say definitively if some American troops would remain.