Iraqi politicians announced Tuesday that any U.S. troops left in the country past the end of 2011 — the deadline when the remaining American forces there are to be withdrawn — should not be granted legal immunity, according to the New York Times.
However, they also said they had agreed that some American military trainers would be needed in Iraq past the withdrawal deadline, creating a confusing situation for U.S. officials with three months to go before the scheduled withdrawal.
The immunity issue is a touchy subject for both sides, as it would protect American forces from prosecution on foreign soil. American officials want that guarantee to ensure they can operate without fear of recrimination, while the Iraqis are loathe to grant such blanket protection given some of the war’s lowest points, such as the killing of civilians by Blackwater mercenaries in 2007.
American officials are hoping for a swift resolution so they can have time to prepare for the scheduled withdrawal of the some 40,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq.
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