Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki (C) attends a ceremony celebrating the withdraw of American military personnel, in Baghdad on June 30, 2009. Iraqis rejoiced today as the Iraqi Security Force took primary control of security in Iraq. American military forces began their draw down today with hopes of being completely removed from the country by 2011. (UPI photo/Ali Jasim) | License Photo
WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- A poll released Tuesday indicates 73 percent of U.S. residents support the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns.
Fifty-two percent of those interviewed for the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said they thought violence in Iraq would increase after Tuesday -- the official deadline for the withdrawal, CNN reported.
An estimated 30,000 U.S. troops have been withdrawn from Iraq since September, leaving about 131,000 in the country. Since January, the U.S. military has closed or handed over more than 150 bases in Iraq, leaving U.S. troops in about 300 sites that gradually are to be handed over to Iraqi control, military officials said.
"This plan has widespread bipartisan support," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director, noting 72 percent of Democrats polled and 74 percent of Republicans polled favored the U.S. troop withdrawal.
"Americans seem to believe that once the Iraqis are in charge, it's up to them to solve any future problems," Holland said.
On Monday, four U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad, bringing the number of U.S. troop deaths to more than 4,300 since the 2003 U.S-led invasion.
The CNN poll conducted Friday through Sunday by telephone with 1,026 adults had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.