Iraqi forces tighten security ahead of US combat operations end
Iraqi security forces tightened security in the capital Monday - a day before the official end of US military combat operations, DPA reported.
New checkpoints, increased spot checks and a general increase in the number of troops on foot patrol were visible in markets and on the main streets of Baghdad, witnesses said.
"The security forces are capable of protecting the country after the withdrawal of the US troops," said General Qasim Atta, a spokesman for the Iraqi military.
He also said Iraqi intelligence units were launching campaigns to counter attacks allegedly being planned by al-Qaeda linked organizations.
Last week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki put the country on high alert and warned that insurgent could mount attacks in the days around August 31, the final official day of US combat operations.
In recent weeks, car bomb blasts and attacks on police officers have occurred in larger numbers, and July was the deadliest month in two years.
US combat troops already exited the country earlier this month, bringing the remaining number of soldiers to below 50,000, the lowest since the invasion in 2003. Those still in Iraq will focus on advisory, counter terrorism and training roles until the planned full withdrawal in 2011.