Iraq: No extension of US pullback date from cities

Iraq will not extend the June 30 deadline for US troops to withdraw from urban areas despite concerns about a resurgence of violence in recent weeks, a spokesman said Monday. The government has insisted it is committed to the timeline laid out in a US-Iraqi security agreement that calls for American forces to pull back from urban areas by the summer and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011. But a series of high-profile bombings have cast doubt on the readiness of Iraqi forces to take over security responsibilities. In particular, US commanders have pointed to the volatile northern city of Mosul as a possible exception to the withdrawal plans. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, however, said the deadlines were "non-extendable."