ABC News: Nations Leaving Iraq Amid Anti-War Gains
ROME Mar 15, 2005 — Italy said Tuesday it will start drawing down its 3,000-strong contingent in Iraq in September, putting a fresh crack in President Bush's crumbling coalition. Bulgaria also called for a partial withdrawal, and Ukraine welcomed home its first wave of returning troops.
The moves come on top of the withdrawal of more than a dozen countries over the last year and could complicate efforts to keep the peace while Iraq's new government builds up police and military units capable of taking over from foreign forces.
Two years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, the coalition is unraveling amid mounting casualties and kidnappings that have stoked anti-war sentiment and sapped leaders' resolve to keep troops in harm's way.