Gen. Ray Odierno, head of multi-national forces in Iraq, gives his take on for the country's path to stability one day after the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities.
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Iraqi troops and police guarded checkpoints on their own in Baghdad today, just one day after U.S. troops ended their large-scale presence in the big cities. Baghdad residents expressed positive feelings about the change.
NAJIM EDDIN ABOUD, Local Resident (through translator):
The pullout means happiness for all Iraqi people. It is a step to terminate the occupation of Iraq, and, God willing, our security forces will fill the gap.
BASSIL JABBAR, Local Resident (through translator):
I cannot express my feelings towards this achievement. We have been waiting for this day for a long time.
But this public optimism comes amid many private fears of an increase in deadly attacks by militants. A bombing on Tuesday in a food market north of Baghdad killed dozens and wounded scores more.
One hundred and thirty thousand U.S. troops are still in Iraq. Their full withdrawal is expected by the end of 2011.