Troops kill 17 militants in Iraq, Bush stands firm
U.S. and Iraqi forces said they killed about 17 guerrillas in a battle north of Baghdad early on Sunday, after President George W. Bush promised Iraq’s prime minister more military aid in a bid to soothe recent friction. “There are no strains in the relationship,” White House spokesman Tony Snow said after Bush and Nuri al-Maliki spoke for nearly an hour on Saturday. It ended a week of public skirmishes that have raised questions over Bush’s exit strategy from Iraq ahead of tight congressional elections on Nov. 7. “The president is very happy … with the way the prime minister is working,” Snow said.