“I know that the president asked for and received some briefing on this, this morning,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
“We will certainly continue to monitor the situation,” he added, stressing that the recent surge in violence in Iraq would not alter US plans to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by the end of August.
Gibbs noted that General Ray Odierno, the US commander in Iraq, said as recently as last weekend that violence in the country would not knock the US military off-track from its schedule to end combat missions.
Obama has ordered all US combat troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of August and all American soldiers to be out of the country by the end of 2011.
Attacks in Iraq on Friday killed 69 people, just days after Iraqi officials said Al-Qaeda was on the run.
The attacks wounded dozens more and underscored the unrest that continues to plague Iraq, where politicians are struggling to form a government, almost seven weeks after a general election seen as crucial to the country’s long-term stability.
Gibbs said that the Obama administration would continue to press political leaders in Iraq to carry out the political steps that need to be taken to form a government.
The latest bloodshed came in a week in which Vice President Joe Biden hailed the killing of Al-Qaeda’s two top leaders in the country as “potentially devastating blows” and praised the growing capacity of Iraqi security forces.
“This operation is evidence in my view, that the future of Iraq will not be shaped by those who would seek to destroy that country,” Biden said on Monday.
The vice president has been charged by Obama with overseeing the planned drawdown of US troops in Iraq.
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The attacker turned himself in at a police station later in the evening, according to local reports
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