US troops to get Iraq permission to stay in cities

The Iraqi Defense Ministry on Sunday said some American troops may remain in urban areas beyond a summer deadline to pull back but only with the permission of the Iraqi government. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askri said Sunday that US commanders would have to get the permission of the Iraqi government to keep troops in the cities beyond the June 30 pullout deadline that's required under a security agreement. Al-Askri's comments come a day after the top US general announced troops might continue working with Iraq's security forces in the cities even after the deadline to pull back troops. But Gen. Ray Odierno stipulated this would be with the concurrence of the Iraqi government.