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U.S. Military Convoys To Leave Iraq Under Tribal Protection

U.S. soldiers check military vehicles to be shipped as troops prepare to pull out of a military base in Nasiriyah last month.
With less than a month to go in Iraq, the U.S. military has paid tribal fighters with cash to help provide a safe exit from Iraq after more than eight years of war.

Much of the U.S. military machine is leaving Iraq by heading south to Kuwait down the main highway that links Baghdad with Basra -- a tempting target for Iranian-backed militants.

Fewer than 10,000 U.S. military personnel are still in Iraq, while five bases still remain to be handed over to Iraqi forces.

U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Crissman says relations have been repaired with more than 20 tribal sheikhs along the route, and they are being paid to provide security along the highway.

The road passes through desert and farmland but very few villages, raising the risk of attack.

compiled from agency reports