Envoy Warns of Pullout Horrors

Crocker promises honest assessment of war progress but says effects of withdrawal "way, way worse" than anything we've seen
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Jul 10, 2007 5:27 AM CDT
Envoy Warns of Pullout Horrors
Mourners march with the coffin of a civilian killed in an overnight raid by U.S. and Iraqi troops in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City of Baghdad, Iraq Tuesday, July 10, 2007. Police said two were killed and four injured by U.S. and Iraqi forces conducting house-to-house searches in three sections of...   (Associated Press)

US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker tells the Times that a post-withdrawal scenario in Iraq "exceeds his imagination" —and then goes on to imagine a nearly unmitigated catastrophe. Crocker predicts sectarian murders “by the thousands," a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and the “complete collapse” of the Iraqi state security forces into balkanized militias.

Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari sounded similarly dire warnings of civil war yesterday, potentially one fueled by foreign powers. “In our estimation the danger is huge," he told a press conference in Baghdad, pointing to the buildup of Turkish forces near the Kurdish border. Meanwhile, a growing cadre of Republicans are signaling frustration with the war. (More Iraq stories.)

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