Obama begins firsthand look at Baghdad

In this photo released by the U.S. army, U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, left, top U.S. military commander in Iraq, David Petraeus, center, and U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Neb, ride inside a helicopter in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 21, 2008. Iraq's government welcomed Obama on Monday with a message of apparent common ground on American troop withdrawal goals: expressing hopes that combat forces could leave by 2010. (AP Photo/Ssg. Lorie Jewell, HO)
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Baghdad (AP) Barack Obama is getting his first on-the-ground inspection of Iraq since 2006.

Obama's trip started with a stop in Basra, where Britain has about 4,000 troops stationed. From there he flew to Baghdad. The Democratic Presidential Candidate was seen arriving for a meeting with prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki in Baghdad's heavily guarded
Green Zone.

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, both critics of the war, are there with Obama.

The meetings are expected to include the top U.S. commander in Iraq, general David Petraeus and other military chiefs.

Obama hasn't made any public statements since arriving in Iraq. there was no noticeable tightening of security on Baghdad's streets and inside the Green Zone.

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