(www.ap.org) вЂ" The success of a new security crackdown in Baghdad will be measured largely on how well the U.S.-backed government capitalizes on any respite of sectarian violence, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday.
Rice made an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital to check on the early days of the campaign to put down tit-for-tat violence between Sunnis and Shiites.
Insurgent violence remains a concern. Rice's plane circled the airport for 30 minutes before landing because of military action in the city, reports Trend.
"If in fact militias decide to stand down and stop killing innocent Iraqis ... that can't be a bad thing," Rice told reporters traveling with her.
"But how the Iraqis use the breathing space that that might provide is what's really important," she said.
Rice was meeting with American troops and U.S. Embassy personnel before a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.