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U.S. Commanders Are Concerned About New Iraqi Restrictions on American Troops

U.S. military officials cite a recent surge in violence, such as this roadside bomb attack in Baghdad on July 2.
U.S. military officials cite a recent surge in violence, such as this roadside bomb attack in Baghdad on July 2. (By Khalid Mohammed -- Associated Press)

"It's been an interesting time, and I think we've sorted out any misunderstandings that were there initially," she said in an interview Friday.

One U.S. military official here said both Iraqi and American leaders on the ground remain confused about the guidelines. The official said he worries that the lack of clarity could trigger stalemates and confrontations between Iraqis and Americans.

"We still lack a common understanding and way forward at all levels regarding those types of situations," he said, referring to self-defense protocols and the type of missions that Americans cannot conduct unilaterally.

In recent days, he said, senior U.S. commanders have lowered their expectations.

"I think our commanders are starting to back off the notion that we will continue to execute combined operations whether the Iraqi army welcomes us with open arms or not," the U.S. commander said. "However, we are still very interested in and concerned about our ability to quickly and effectively act in response to terrorist threats" against U.S. forces.

DeYoung reported from Washington.


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