BAGHDAD, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office rejected a suggestion by Gen. Raymond Odierno, outgoing U.S. Army chief of staff, that Iraq could be partitioned.
In his final press conference in Washington Wednesday, Odierno said the breakup of Syria and Iraq into smaller countries, each with its own government and ethnic and religious constituency, is a possibility for peace. Referring more to Syria than to Iraq, Odierno commented, "My assessment would be (that) it will be difficult to have a Syria that looks like it did before."
Odierno, who was commander of U.S. troops in Iraq from 2008 to 2010, suggested a partition of Iraq "is something that could happen," adding it "might be the only solution, but I'm not ready to say that yet."
Friday Abadi's media office called Odierno's remark "an irresponsible statement and reflects an ignorance of the Iraqi reality."