Obama sticks to US troop draw-down plan in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The White House Wednesday announced that President Barack Obama would be sticking with plans to end the US combat mission in Iraq at the end of the month after receiving an update from his top military commanders and national security team.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president was satisfied with the progress that has been made in the country that will enable Iraq's military to take over security operations at that time.
Obama met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, national security adviser James Jones and, by video-conference, the US commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno.
Still, Gibbs said that despite a recent lull in violence, an "uptick in violence" is expected in the runup to the Aug. 31 turnover.