The attack, the deadliest on US troops in Iraq in more than two years, comes months before US forces are slated to exit. The Pentagon has signaled time is short for Iraq to request that troops remain.
US military wrestles with sheer size of shutting down operations in Iraq by next December – and handing off key security jobs to the State Department, which is staffing up to handle them.
Israel is unlikely to object to the arms sale of up to 84 new F-15s and 1,000 'bunker-buster bombs' to Saudi Arabia that analysts say is meant to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East.
The last US combat troops leave Iraq Thursday, shifting the American role in the Iraq war from the Pentagon to the State Department, which faces a potentially unprecedented task.
Maliki wants a date in the status-of-forces deal, a move the US is resisting.
A US-Iraq security pact won't set troop levels now, but it could set the stage for long-term strategy.