Iraq's problems 'can't be solved by military'
By Bonnie Malkin and agencies
Last Updated: 10:13am GMT 08/03/2007
US and Iraqi security forces cannot end the violence in Iraq without political action and reconciliation with militant groups, the new US commander in Iraq has said.
Gen Petraeus said reconciliation was key
Speaking at his first press conference since taking control of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, urged the country's leaders to put aside sectarian rancour and warned there was no "military solution" to the nation's conflict.
Gen Petraeus said he had felt "shame, horror and sadness" when he heard of a suicide attack that killed more than 100 Shia pilgrims earlier in the week.
"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security... but it is not sufficient. There needs to be a political aspect," he said.
The general was speaking inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone after three days of attacks by Sunni insurgents on Shia pilgrims left more than 150 dead and dramatically increased political tensions.
Note: Iran agrees to attend Iraq conference with US.