Meanwhile, the U.S. command announced the deaths of nine soldiers and two Marines in recent days.
Four of the soldiers were killed in Baghdad on Monday in separate small-arms fire attacks, the military said. Another four were killed the same day in a roadside bomb attack on their patrol northwest of Baghdad.
The ninth died Sunday when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb west of the capital.
The two Marines, both with the Regimental Combat Team 7, were killed in fighting in Anbar province, one on Sept. 30 and one on Oct. 1, the military said.
*Perhaps the most convincing explanation for why we're in Iraq that I've yet to hear.