WASHINGTON (AP) -- The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq says there has been a dramatic decline in the number of foreign fighters entering northern Iraq from neighboring Syria.
Army Maj. Gen. David Perkins told reporters at the Pentagon that he has seen no clear evidence that the drop is connected to a six-month-old anti-government uprising in Syria. Speaking via a video feed from his base in Takrit, Perkins said Iraqi security forces have gotten better at border protection.
Perkins also said that most of the 5,000 U.S. troops based in northern Iraq will be gone by the end of October. He described the al-Qaida in Iraq network as greatly weakened but still capable of violence. He said there are signs the group is suffering from severe internal divisions over money.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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