White House says violence in Iraq not due to US pullout - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

White House says violence in Iraq not due to US pullout

Jay Carney - File Jay Carney - File

The White House is arguing against critics who say escalating sectarian violence in Iraq is a result of the United States' pullout from the country.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said violence existed in the nation even with 150,000 American troops on the ground. He also invited critics to say if they believed U.S. troops should be on the ground in Fallujah, but added that President Barack Obama does not believe they should be.

Tensions have been escalating in Iraq, raising concerns in the U.S. about al-Qaida taking a stronger hold in the country as insurgents challenge the Iraqi government for control over territory.

Carney said the U.S. can help, but Iraq has to take the lead in handling the conflict. Carney said additional surveillance drones and Hellfire missiles will be sent to Iraq this year.

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