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Gates Reserves Judgment On Baghdad Operation

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (file photo) (epa) March 19, 2007 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says it will probably take until the summer to assess whether a U.S.-led security operation in Iraq is working.

Gates also cautioned that the mission -- mainly focused in Baghdad -- could lead to Al-Qaeda and insurgents operating elsewhere in Iraq.

Gates's comments on March 18 on U.S. television came as the U.S. military announced another six U.S. soldiers had been killed in action in Iraq over the past two days.

Elsewhere, a car bomb in a largely Shi'ite section of Baghdad left at least eight dead. Across Iraq, at least 20 people died on March 18 in attacks.

Iraqi police found the decapitated and bound bodies of nine police officers in Al-Anbar Governorate, a restive Sunni Arab province west of Baghdad.

(AP, Reuters)

The International Coalition In Iraq

The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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