General David Petraeus is preparing new plans to withdraw American troops from Iraq on top of previously announced reductions. The US commander in Iraq said that after more than 20,000 soldiers are pulled out by July, he will recommend further cutbacks later in the year, he told the Times of London. Pressed to give a number, he said only: "We have a range based on various situations."
The general had announced the July troop reduction, which will cut America's military presence in Iraq by a quarter, in a report to Washington last September. Petraeus also discussed the Iraq parliament's belated passage of a budget and an amnesty law, which he called "a big deal," and his concern about breakaway Shia factions which the military alleges are trained by Iran.