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Joint Chiefs chairman’s visit to Iraq includes talks on Syria

- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — The top U.S. general's talks with Iraq's prime minister included discussions about Syria, underscoring concerns that the civil war there risks destabilizing Iraq's own fragile security, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday.

The previous day's talks between U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki touched on "regional and security issues, including the situation in Syria," the embassy said.

The visit was Gen. Dempsey's first to Iraq since American troops withdrew in December.

Thousands of Syrian refugees and returning Iraqis who had been living in Syria have flooded into Iraq in recent months, straining Iraq's resources. Iraqi officials warn that al Qaeda militants are flowing into Syria, and smugglers continue to ship arms into the country across Iraq's porous borders.

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