After nearly nine years of war, the U.S. now must navigate a future without American troops in Iraq. But Iraq’s vast oil resources, the massive U.S. Embassy presence here and Iraq’s strategic location in the Middle East - next to Iran - ensure U.S. interest will remain high in Iraq even after the troops are gone.
Baghdad and Washington failed this year to agree on keeping a small U.S. military presence in Iraq next year, meaning all U.S. forces must be out of the country by Dec. 31. Some 13,000 U.S. troops remain, down from a one-time high of 170,000.
3 rockets from Lebanon fired at Israel
JERUSALEM — Rockets fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel early Tuesday for the first time in more than two years, drawing a burst of Israeli artillery fire across the tense border, the Israeli military said.
No casualties or major damage were reported on either side, and no one claimed responsibility for the attack. The military said at least two of the rockets landed on Israeli soil, and that Israeli guns shelled the area where the fire had originated.
The U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, said it had deployed additional troops and stepped up patrols in the area to prevent any further violence.
UNIFIL has policed southern Lebanon to enforce a cease-fire that ended a bloody, monthlong war between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. Israeli officials said they did not believe Hezbollah was involved in Tuesday’s attack.
Official urges Saudis to leave Syria
RIYADH — The Saudi Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged its citizens to leave Syria and not to travel to the Arab nation that has been hit by months of deadly anti-regime protests.
The decision comes just days after the Arab League slapped unprecedented sanctions on the Syrian regime over its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent, including a call to suspend flights between Damascus and Arab destinations.
Bahrain and Qatar on Sunday urged their citizens to leave Syria after the United Arab Emirates also advised its nationals to stay away.
Leaders acknowledge abuse of prisoners