Iraq backs deal to pull 150,000 US troops out by 2011
Efforts have started taking place to cut down US troops in Iraq as promised by President elect Barack Obama. Obama has promised to begin withdrawing forces in January. Now the Iraqi cabinet has approved a deal which will see 150,000 American troops pulled out of the Iraq by 2011.
The decision came after almost a year of intense and fractious negotiations between the two sides.
Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister, said he expects the timetable, which will end a military presence that began with the 2003 American invasion, to be approved by the Iraqi parliament this month.
"The total withdrawal will be completed by December 31, 2011," said Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the Iraqi cabinet. "This is not governed by circumstances on the ground. This date is specific and final."
He added that the Iraqi government could cancel the agreement if its own forces became capable of controlling security earlier.