UN extends US-led force in Iraq for year

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council has voted to extend the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq for another year.

The vote was unanimous. The 160,000-strong force will remain in Iraq until the end of 2008 because the resolution says "the threat in Iraq continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security."

Iraq's prime minister has said this would be his nation's "final request" for help. Iraq's U.N. Ambassador says while the country's armed forces need more time before they'll be able to take over security from the multinational forces, the council's vote had renewed the mandate "for the last time." He also noted that Iraqi forces took responsibility for Basra two days ago and now control nine provinces.

Asked whether the United States wanted to keep the door open to maintaining its troops in Iraq longer, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad says the extension represents "the will of the Iraqi people."

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