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US General Reports Progress Against Insurgency in Iraq's Anbar Province


20 July 2007

A senior U.S. general in Iraq says he thinks coalition forces have "turned the corner" against insurgents in troubled al-Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

Major General Walter Gaskin says there has been a steady decline in enemy attacks this year in Anbar province, which has been a Sunni insurgent stronghold.

However, he says it will take another couple of years to build up Iraqi forces so they can take over security responsibilities.

General Gaskin made his remarks to reporters at the Pentagon Friday through a video link to Iraq. He is the latest in a series of U.S. military leaders who have pleaded for more time while reporting progress against the insurgency in Iraq.

In other news, the U.S. military said coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained another 44 suspects in raids Friday across Iraq.

The U.S. military says two roadside bombs Thursday killed two American soldiers in Baghdad. The British military says three of its soldiers were killed by mortar rounds that struck their base Thursday in the southern city of Basra.

On the diplomatic front, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, has called for an expanded U.N. role in Iraq. Khalilzad said the U.N. is uniquely suited to work out a regional framework to stabilize Iraq, and can play a mediation role within the country.

Khalilzad made his remarks in an opinion article published today in the New York Times. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

The United Nations has played a limited role in Iraq since a 2003 terrorist attack on U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.



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