Iraq: Date for US pullback from cities 'non-extendable'

The June 30 deadline for US troops to withdraw from urban areas in Iraq is "non-extendable," the Iraqi government said Monday. A rise in violence has prompted concern about whether Iraqi forces are prepared to take over security responsibilities. In particular, US commanders have pointed to the northern city of Mosul as a possible exception to the withdrawal plans. But spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that the government is committed to the timeline in the US-Iraqi security agreement, calling the withdraw deadline "non-extendable." The agreement calls for American forces to pull back from cities by the end of June and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011.