"Iraqi leaders embrace Obama’s withdrawal announcement."
Yesterday, President Obama announced that he would withdraw combat troops from of Iraq by August 2010. ThinkProgress noted yesterday that several U.S. military service members have embraced the withdrawal timetable. The announcement has also been welcomed by Iraqi leaders, who have favored a U.S. withdrawal for years:
— “We welcome such a decision and support it. … We consider this as a good-faith sign from the American Administration toward Iraq and Iraqis.” — Tahseen al-Shekhli, spokesman for the Iraqi government
— “[Maliki is] very comfortable with the plan. … I think we’re ready to take over the responsibilities from the Americans. Our forces will be up to it, and we are even ready right now.” — Yassen Majeed, adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
— “It is a realistic and responsible plan. It represents a recognition that Iraq must take matters into their own hands and deal with those huge challenges as an independent country.” — Mahdi al Hafez, Minister of Parliament
— “We will be ready to take over when the Americans leave.” — Gen. Abdul Kerim Khalaf, spokesman for the interior ministry and a “key player in the Baghdad security plan.”