US general worried about future of Iraq
Washington - The US military's top officer, General Martin Dempsey, said on Tuesday he was concerned about the future of Iraq after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of the year.
"In anticipation of the question about whether I'm concerned about the future of Iraq, the answer is yes," Dempsey told the Senate armed services committee.
But the general said he agreed with President Barack Obama's decision to pull out troops given Iraq's refusal to grant legal immunity to American forces.
In a hearing focused on the departure of US forces, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said he was confident that Iraq could manage its security and counter the influence of neighboring Iran.
"To be sure, Iraq faces a host of remaining challenges, but I believe Iraq is equipped to deal with them," Panetta told lawmakers.
Iraq's political leaders "basically reject what Iran's trying to do," he added.