Rumsfeld on unannounced visit to Baghdad urges Iraqis to meet mid-August deadline for constitution

DEBKAfile Intelligence

July 27, 2005, 11:08 AM (GMT+02:00)

As he landed, Wednesday, July 27, the US military announced 4 US soldiers had been killed Sunday night when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in SW Baghdad. Tuesday, 17 Iraqi factory workers died in an insurgent shooting ambush of their bus.

The US defense sectary also told Iraqi leaders to resist interference by Syria and Iran. Syria is accused of allowing foreign terrorists to enter Iraq while Iran is bidding for political influence in Baghdad. The committee drafting Iraq’s new constitution resumed work Tuesday after a six-day boycott by Sunni Arab members elicited a pledge of more security and an investigation of the assassination of one of their number. Any delay in completing the charter would be very harmful, said Rumsfeld. We have troops in the line of fire. It’s time for compromise. Washington, he said, is working on a new legal arrangement to define the role of more than 160,000 foreign troops in Iraq, possibly a renewed UN Security Council resolution or a “status of forces” agreement with Iraq.