Iraqis Concerned After American Troops Leave

By: AP
By: AP

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Many Iraqis are wondering what's ahead for their
country, after the last of the American troops leave by the end of
the year.

They're afraid they'll see an increase in violence, political turmoil and growing Iranian influence.

Iraqis from across the political, religious and geographic spectrum, in interviews Saturday with The Associated Press, worried about the results of the more-than eight years of war and tens of thousands of deaths -- and wondered if the struggling democracy could face the challenges ahead.

In the aftermath of President Barack Obama's announcement that
all American troops will be leaving Iraq, one Shiite from the
southern city of Basra says he doesn't think Iraq's leaders "will
be able to achieve stability and security."

He says Iraq is "defenseless" against its neighbors -- and that most Iraqis yearn for the time when Saddam Hussein ruled the country.

A Sunni from northern Iraq says, "Neither the Iraqis nor the
Americans have won."

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