Despite the recent deadly bomb attacks in Iraq, the US will keep pulling out its combat forces from the war-torn country within a year.
“During this year we’ll insure that our troops are withdrawn on schedule, by the president’s timetable,” the US ambassador Christopher Hill told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday.
In their place would be a “strong healthy relationship between the US and Iraq,” he went on to say.
The US envoy also referred to the August 19 bombings that claimed the lives of nearly 100 people at the Iraqi finance and foreign ministries in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Waziriyah.
“The bombings in recent months show that we still have to deal with al-Qaeda in Iraq that tries to rekindle violence,” Hill noted.
“To the great credit of the Iraqi people, they have not risen to the bait,” concluded Hill, who has been the US ambassador in Iraq since April.
US President Barack Obama has set a deadline of August 2010 for the withdrawal of US combat forces and all American troops are scheduled to be removed by the end of 2011.
A total of 130,000 American troops still remain in the war-torn Iraq.