An influential Shi'ite cleric says US President Barack Obama's plan does not go far enough and is demanding the reduction of American Embassy staff as well.
During a sermon Friday, Sheik Saleh al-Haidari says there is no longer a need for such a large American diplomatic presence. The US Embassy sits on a 104-acre site in the heavily fortified Green Zone. It is the largest US diplomatic compound in the world with more than 1,000 employees.
Reaction to Obama's plan to remove US combat forces by August 2010 brings mixed reactions among Iraqis. Some applaud the withdrawal, but others question whether Iraq's security forces are up to the task alone. Several Iraqi TV stations aired Obama's speech at Camp Jejeune in North Carolina.