Iraq's parliament will vote on Wednesday (today) on a pact that sets a deadline for the withdrawal of the US military forces that ousted former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, but which is opposed by some political groups. The deal signed with the United States last week would require the roughly 150,000 US troops in Iraq to leave by the end of 2011, a condition Washington agreed to only after months of painstaking negotiations. Iraqi leaders consider that to be a major victory, after the administration of outgoing President George W. Bush had said it would not accept a fixed timetable. Parliament's approval, which appeared likely but was not guaranteed, is the last big hurdle to the pact's ratification. PM Nuri al-Maliki says the pact was Iraq's best hope for restoring its sovereignty whilst avoiding a return to the sectarian bloodshed of recent years, when militias from the majority Shi'ites battled once dominant Sunnis who initially aligned themselves with al Qaeda fighters. But it faces opposition in the house from several factions.