U.S. forces began pulling out of Iraqi cities Tuesday as Iraq celebrated their National Sovereignty Day, reported BBC News.
The Associated Press reported that Iraq’s prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said, during a televised address, that “those who think that Iraqis are not able to protect their country and that the withdrawal of foreign forces will create a security vacuum are committing a big mistake.”
A car bomb exploded as U.S. forces were leaving Kirkuk, Iraq. The explosion killed 20 people and injured 25 more. The U.S. military had already turned over security to the local forces at the time of the incident, reported Reuters.
American and Iraqi military commanders, reported BBC News, anticipate an effort by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to return and instigate pressures.
The BBC News reported that U.S. combat operations will end in September of 2010 and all U.S. military service members will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.