- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Sunday that a decision on pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq’s major cities by a June 30 deadline will be made by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with American military advice.

Gen. Raymond Odierno did not specifically say whether U.S. troops would be out of Iraqi cities by the deadline, which is part of a plan for the gradual drawdown of American forces.

A roadside bomb killed an American soldier north of Baghdad on Sunday, the sixth U.S. combat death in the last three days.

Gen. Odierno contended that overall violence in Iraq remains at the lows seen in the early months after the U.S. invasion, but he noted that “there are still some elements” in Iraq that are able to conduct serious attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security forces.

He spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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