01-18-2007, 11:18 AM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Iraqi Pm Seeks Us Weapons Boost
Quote:Iraq's need for US troops could fall in three to six months if the US supplied more weapons to the Iraqi security forces, PM Nouri Maliki has said.
Shortages of weapons and equipment had led to the insurgency being more prolonged and bloody, he told the UK's Times newspaper.
He urged the US to honour a deal to give Iraqi forces more equipment.
There has been concern that US military hardware could end up in the hands of militias and insurgents.
In the latest violence, several bombs have exploded in Baghdad, killing 17 people and injuring 47.
In the largest attack, 10 people were killed and 30 injured when three car bombs went off in quick succession in a wholesale vegetable market in the volatile south-western district of Dora.
Earlier a car bomb in Saadoun Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the capital, killed four police officers and injured 10 other people, according to police sources.
In a third attack, three people died and seven were injured in eastern Baghdad, near the Shia stronghold of Sadr City, police said.
Under a new strategy announced last week, US President George W Bush plans to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, the majority of them to Baghdad, in an attempt to improve security and end sectarian clashes.
But Mr Maliki said more equipment was what was really needed.
"If we succeed in implementing the agreement between us to speed up the equipping and providing weapons to our military forces, I think that within three to six months our need for American troops will dramatically go down," Mr Maliki told The Times.
"That is on condition that there are real, strong efforts to support our military forces and equipping and arming them."
Mr Maliki's comments have come at a time when Iraqi security is politically controversial in Washington, says the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Baghdad.
On Wednesday, three US senators - two Democrats and a Republican - agreed on a resolution to oppose Mr Bush's plan.
Joseph Biden, Carl Levin and Chuck Hagel said it was not in the US interest to deepen its involvement in Iraq. They called for a timeline for transferring responsibility for security to the Iraqi authorities.
The resolution, which is expected to pass, will be non-binding and the White House has said Mr Bush will proceed with his plan.
In the Times interview, Mr Maliki criticised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who recently suggested his government was living on "borrowed time". Such comments could only give "moral boosts" to the insurgents, he said.
Mr Maliki admitted there had been mistakes in the execution of Saddam Hussein, but said it had not been an act of revenge.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara
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