Excerpts from an article at latimes.com by Ned Parker and Riyadh Mohammed, August 25, 2010
A string of car-bomb attacks killed at least 45 people across Iraq on Wednesday. The violence shook at least seven cities from north to south and appeared timed to undermine confidence in the Iraqi army and police as the U.S. military ends its formal combat mission in the country.
The attacks came a day after White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan called the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq a "truly remarkable achievement," as reported by Tom Diemer at Politics Daily.
In Washington on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden used language similar to Brennan's, calling the drawdown a "remarkable milestone in a war that began more than seven years ago."
Apparently coordinated bombings occurred in Kut, Baghdad, Moqdadiya, Baquba, Ramadi, Fallujah, Basra and Karbala.
The attacks followed the announcement by the U.S. military on Tuesday that their troop numbers had now dropped to 49,700 soldiers as soldiers switched from a combat mission to the job of training the Iraqi army and police and assisting them when asked. Iraqis are concerned that the scaled-back American presence could help fuel violence.