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Iraqi FM warns of 'regional wars' if coalition pulls out

Zebari also said there was evidence that "tens of suicide bombers enter Iraq through Syria to kill themselves and innocent Iraqi civilians," but that talks with Damascus could solve the problem.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 22, 2007
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Wednesday Iraq would fall apart and regional wars would develop if US-led coalition forces were to suddenly withdraw from his country.

"The sudden withdrawal of American troops in Iraq would cause the collapse of Iraq and will lead to the disintegration of and division within Iraq," he told Alhurra Television in an interview.

"Sudden withdrawal would also mean regional interventions and conflicts. These conflicts will drag the region into regional wars," Zebari told the Virginia-based, Congress-funded non-profit corporation.

Zebari's comments coincided with a speech Wednesday by President George W. Bush, in which he compared a withdrawal from Iraq to the US leaving Vietnam in 1973, a mistake that Bush said "was paid by millions of innocent citizens."

The foreign minister said a military pullout from Iraq would remove a deterrent against "sectarian or civil war at a large scale," and would embolden Al-Qaeda to establish "a prominent and real base" in Iraq.

Zebari also said there was evidence that "tens of suicide bombers enter Iraq through Syria to kill themselves and innocent Iraqi civilians," but that talks with Damascus could solve the problem.

"If Syria has the will and an honest desire to increase security, I believe we could overcome the security problem between the Iraqi and Syrian borders," said Zebari, according to an English transcript of the interview, which was conducted in Arabic.

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Analysis: Iraq, who is to blame
Washington (UPI) Aug 21, 2007
With the situation in Iraq becoming more complicated amid increasing setbacks, so too is the political recrimination becoming more apparent. Meanwhile, attributing blame for the failures in Iraq is turning into something of a national pastime.

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