U.S. Conducts Final Patrols In Iraq Cities

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Iraq, as U.S. forces complete their pullout from major cities. In Baghdad, the party got started tonight. Thousands turned out for a concert by Iraqi musicians who just returned from exile in Syria. But amid the celebrations, there's also concern.

Outside Mosul, a car-bombing today killed 10 people, including six police officers. Throughout Iraq, more than 250 have been killed in attacks in just over a week, as insurgents try to undermine confidence in the Iraqi government.

Chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan went on one of the final patrols by U.S. troops in Mosul.

U.S. soldiers have been battling al Qaeda on the streets of Mosul for years. The fight for control of Iraq's third largest city was brutal, as documented by soldiers'-and insurgents'-videos.

Under pressure in Baghdad last year, al Qaeda moved north, making Mosul the most dangerous city in the country.

But from tomorrow on, U.S. combat troops have to be out of Mosul and every other Iraqi town and city - part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government.

"I've told our soldiers already, if we've coordinated for a patrol - the Iraqis have said 'We'd like you to accompany us' - and the Iraqi security escorts don't show up, then we don't go," said
Col. Gary Volesky. "We are not going to go into the city by ourselves."

That means Volesky's men will no longer be able to gather intelligence like biometrics on suspected insurgents, unless they're invited by the Iraqis.

Soldiers say the area is much more secure now than when they arrived. But al Qaeda is not defeated.

On some of their last patrols in the city before the June 30 deadline, the soldiers heard from Iraqi civilians. The civilians said they expect things to get better when the Americans pull back.

"We want our army here", one said.

It's clear from speaking to people here that they've had enough of being occupied and they're eager to see control of their country back in Iraqi hands. But Mosul is also where the main fight against al Qaeda and their allies is still being fought and off camera several senior Iraqi officers told CBS News they would have like to have US soldiers on the city streets with them for another six months.

The Iraqi army still relies on the U.S. for the most basic necessities. Even the maps of their own cities come from the Americans.

Al Qaeda will keep attacking the Iraqi army, one commander said - "Iraqi army, Iraqi government, civilian Iraqi, kids, women, anything!"

Iraqi forces can still call on U.S. troops for help, but they're under tremendous political pressure to show they can secure Iraq's cities on their own.

  • Lara Logan

    Lara Logan's bold, award-winning reporting from war zones has earned her a prominent spot among the world's best foreign correspondents. Logan began contributing to 60 Minutes in 2005.