Wednesday, May 24, 2006

AP update: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday he believed Iraqi forces were capable of taking over security around the country within 18 months, but he did not mention a timetable for U.S.-led coalition forces to leave. [...] "Our forces are capable of taking over the security in all Iraqi provinces within a year-and-a-half," al-Maliki said in a written statement, in which he acknowledged that security forces needed more recruits, training and equipment. His comments came as Sunni Arab and Shiite political leaders expressed hope that compromise candidates would be found to head the defense and interior ministries by Saturday. [...]