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Iraq Qaeda Chief Criticises Obama Troop Plan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DUBAI (AFP) – The reputed head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq attacked US President Barack Obama’s plan for withdrawing troops from the country, saying it is a deception, in an audio tape made public on Tuesday.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, said to be the head of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq, spoke in a tape made available by SITE Intelligence Group and whose authenticity could not be verified.

On February 27, Obama ordered an end to US combat operations in Iraq by August 2010, and a complete withdrawal by 2011, eight years after a US-led coalition invaded the country to remove dictator Saddam Hussein from power.

A post-2010 interim force of between 35,000 and 50,000 will stay on to help Iraq with counter-terrorism and training.

“What the ruler of the occupation state announced is but a deception for the imperialist method, in a new fashion, hoping that the silly and stupid will accept the occupation of our land and humiliation of our dignity for another three years,” the recording said.

Al-Qaeda is made up of Sunni Muslims, and Baghdadi also attacks the Iraqi government, led by Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, for holding false sovereignty over the country.