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Baghdad seeks U.S. drones

Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. The U.S. government has authorized the killing of American citizens as part of its controversial drone campaign against al Qaeda even without intelligence that such Americans are actively plotting to attack a U.S. target, according to a Justice Department memo.REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Lt Col Leslie Pratt/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CONFLICT POLITICS MILITARY CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 6:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Iraq's top diplomat says lethal U.S. drones could be based in Iraq to help fight a growing threat by al-Qaida.

Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Friday that Iraqi forces need U.S. help with surveillance and analyzing intelligence. He suggests that an unspecified but limited number of American counterterror advisers could be stationed in Iraq to help its military deter a recent spike in deadly attacks.

His comments were made 20 months after the U.S. military left Iraq because the two countries could not agree to keep some American troops there to bolster security.

Asked for specifics, Zebari said drones could be part of a U.S. package of support for Iraq.

Spokesmen at the Pentagon and State Department did not respond to requests for comment. — AP

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