Iraq has entered a new phase yesterday bringing the dream of an independent, sovereign and stable Iraq into completion. Sovereignty is no longer a dream but a reality as security is improving day by day and Iraqi security forces are upgrading their capacities to take over command until the pullout of the last US soldier by end of 2011. Yet, Iraqis know pretty well that the path to sovereignty is a tough and risky one, Alsumaria reports.
The landmark day was marred by a bomb attack on a popular market in Kirkuk, an oil hub which has long been riven by ethnic tensions, which left 33 people dead and 92 wounded including women and children, AFP reports.
The early evening attack, which bore the hallmarks of Sunni extremist groups like al-Qaida in Iraq, was the second in the Kirkuk area since a truck bombing killed 82 people on June 20, The Washington Post reports.
Also Tuesday, the U.S. military announced the deaths of four soldiers Monday in an attack south of Baghdad, a grim reminder of the vulnerability of U.S. troops as more of them are deployed to rural outposts, The Washington Post reports.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year