March 18 (Bloomberg) —, rallying troops during a visit to , vowed that the U.S. will stay committed to its mission to end the conflict in the country.
“Tyranny in Iraq was worth defeating,” Cheney said today. “Democracy in Iraq is worth defending.”
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the March 20 U.S.- led invasion of Iraq. Cheney spent two days in the country meeting with U.S. commanders and Iraqi leaders to assess the needs of troops before a report on the conflict is delivered to Congress next month. He stayed last night atAir Base, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, where mortar fire could be heard throughout the night.
Cheney later flew to Irbil, in, to meet with Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s Kurdish administration. Iraqi Kurdish leaders have criticized for an last month that targeted the , or PKK, saying it was an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and the .
There is evidence of “dramatic improvements” in security in Iraq, Cheney said yesterday.will brief Congress on progress in the country since ordered the deployment of 30,000 extra U.S. soldiers and Marines a year ago.