U.S. Prepares to Give Reins to Iraqi Troops

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U.S. forces will re-deploy to bases outside of Iraqi cities on Tuesday and Iraqi forces will be in charge of security.

Still, reports of recent attacks have some questioning if this is the right time.

Carnage, chaos, confusion and at least 80 people dead explains the latest news in Iraq.

A recent bombing of a Baghdad market was a reminder of a much bloodier era in Iraqi history--before the 2007 U.S. troop surge.  Back then, al Qaeda and Shiite militias wreaked havoc across the country.

Things are different now.  Violence is at an all-time low and life has returned to normal in many neighborhoods.

Still, as the U.S. military prepares to hand security over to Iraqi forces, the question lingers: are they ready?

U.S. officials say yes.

"Despite the fact that you've seen sporadic high-profile attacks still taking  place in iraq, the overall security climate is a good one and we remain at all-time low," said Geoff Morrell of the State Department.

But attacks have been on the upswing in recent weeks. Close to 200 Iraqis have been killed by terror attacks in June alone.  U.S. military officials say an upswing in attacks was anticipated in the days leading to Tuesday's handoff.  They're confident, however, Iraqis won't let al Qaeda and other terror groups reestablish a foothold.

"When you talk to the average Iraqi, they're tired of al Qaeda at this point," said Lt. Col. Samuel Hayes.  "And they're ready to move forward."

The U.S. does reserve the right to move forces back into Iraqi cities if violence once again gets out of control. But the plan right now is to continue to train Iraqi forces in the run-up to a complete U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

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