US General warns Iraqi military will be crippled if foreign troops withdraw

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London, Oct 29 : A top US general is learnt to have warned Iraq that its (Iraqs) military would be crippled if foreign forces were withdrawn from there. The warning comes in the backdrop of repeated statements by the Iraqi government to foreign troops that they were no more required in the country.

Senior American officer in Iraq, General Raymond Odierno is believed to have presented Iraqs leaders with an inventory detailing the collapse of the Iraqi security services if forces were pulled back to barracks.

Iraq has repeatedly demanded a renegotiation of a security agreement with America which would authorise continued US combat operations against terrorism until 2011, reported The Telegraph.

Recently, at a cabinet meeting Baghdad made changes in both wording and content of a proposed security deal from America, despite US officials saying that the document was final after months of tense talks with Baghdad.

Behind the scenes, angry confrontations have taken place over Baghdads backtracking on the deal, as all three Iraqi military services remain crucially dependent US training and support.

If Iraq fails to sign the deal, America would cut off 6.3 billion dollars in bilateral aid and halt military sales to the tune of 10 billion dollars.

Besides, failure to adopt a Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa) with America and Britain by the end of the year, would mean the foreign troop presence in Iraq constituted an illegal occupation under international law.

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