Petraeus: Iraq progress is ‘almost breathtaking.’

In an interview with CNN this morning, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, declared that “what is taking place in Anbar is almost breathtaking.” “Clearly there is still work to be done,” he added. Watch it:


Also “breathtaking,” but unmentioned by Petraeus, is the fact that with 200 people killed in the first week of June, sectarian violence is on the rise in Iraq.



CNN HOST: General David Petraeus spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview from Baghdad.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: What is taking place in Anbar is almost breathtaking. In the last several months, tribes that previously, at the very least, turned a blind eye to what al Qaeda was doing in that province. Are now opposing al Qaeda very vigorously and the level of violence in Anbar has plummetted. Although there clearly is still work to be done, particularly in Eastern Anbar province and in some areas inside the city of Fallujah. And we will do that work as we get all the forces on the ground here in the weeks and months ahead.

We do think that we can make a big difference in the security situation in Iraq. We hope to consolidate and build on what is happening in Anbar province. We hope to stabilize Dialya, to stabilize some of the networks in Baghdad, and to take away some of the sanctuaries around Baghdad that al Qaeda has used for some time.