28 Aug 2010

Iraqi forces able to cope - US commander

12:05 pm on 28 August 2010

The commander of US forces in Iraq says the country's forces can cope with an upsurge in violence since the withdrawal of American combat troops.

General Raymond Odierno has expressed confidence in Iraqi security forces, but indicated some frustration with the country's politicians.

Iraqi politics are still deadlocked five months after national elections were held, with no new government yet in place.

US troops end combat operations on 31 August. Remaining US troops will continue in Iraq until the end of 2011 to advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests.

They will be armed, but will use their weapons only in self-defence or at the request of the Iraqi government.