Iraq PM slams U.S. officer’s remarks on partition

Prime Minister Abadi said the comments were irresponsible and reflecting ignorance of the Iraqi situation

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Comments attributed to the most senior U.S. army official about the possibility of Iraq being partitioned are irresponsible and ignorant, the media office of the country's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday, according to Reuters news agency.

Abadi’s media office said it was surprised at the comments attributed to General Raymond Odierno, which it considered "irresponsible and reflecting ignorance of the Iraqi situation"

The U.S. Army's outgoing chief of staff warned that reconciliation between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq is becoming harder and that partitioning the country “might be the only solution.”

Odierno, who once served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and retires Friday after nearly 40 years in uniform, said the US focus for now should be on defeating ISIS, that has seized large portions of the country.

But in a valedictory news conference he took a pessimistic view about the underlying conflict between Shiites and Sunnis that brought the two communities to brink of civil war in 2006.

Asked if he saw any possibility of reconciliation between the two, Odierno said “It's becoming more difficult by the day” and pointed to a future in which “Iraq might not look like it did in the past.”