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U.S.: Iraqi security situation improving
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08:56, November 21, 2007

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Visiting Chief of U.S. Central Command Admiral William J. Fallon said on Tuesday that the security situation in Iraq was steadily improving over the past five months.

Fallon made the remarks in an interview with Egypt's Nile News Channel.

He attributed the improvement of security conditions in Iraq to the expansion of troops in Iraq in the first six months of this year and Iraqis' cooperation with the coalition forces to flush out rebels and rein in sectarian violence.

Moreover, Sunni and Shiite tribal chieftains cooperated with each other and with the coalition forces while keeping themselves away from extremist stands taken by al-Mahdi army and al-Qaida network in Iraq, Fallon said.

The U.S. top brass also said that Washington was trying to defuse tensions on the Iraqi-Turkish border through halting military operations and resorting to a political solution.

On Monday, participants at a seminar organized by the National Center for Middle East Studies on the Iraq crisis said that an Iraq solution could only come from within, according to the Egyptian MENA news agency.

Violence persists in Baghdad although the U.S. and Iraqi officials announced a steep drop of violence in the capital as a result of a major security plan aimed at controlling insurgency and sectarian strife.

Fallon's visit to Egypt, during which he met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak among others, is also aimed at following up the Bright Star war games, a multinational joint training exercise which started on Nov. 3 in Egypt and lasted over two weeks.


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