Baghdad's festive mood this weekend has left some Washington officials and military leaders simmering, the Guardian reports. While Iraqis prepare to celebrate US troops' withdrawal from city streets tomorrow, American officials say that local forces have gone untrained, forcing US troops to sustain casualties. Worse, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Iraq is preparing to "repulse" US invaders.
"It is a message to the world that we are now able to safeguard our security and administer our own affairs," Maliki said. But as 130,000 US troops prepare to leave Iraqi streets, and fight only at Baghdad's invitation, the city is recovering from 15 major bomb attacks this week alone. Maliki admitted that security will likely worsen before national elections in January. "The alert has gone to all of our forces," said one Iraqi official. "There will be no days off."