Unit for Iraq to be redeployed to Afghanistan
Members of the 173rd on their first deployment to Iraq in 2003
WASHINGTON — An Army unit that had been scheduled to go to Iraq is being sent instead to Afghanistan, where fighting has increased and the U.S. troop level is at its highest of the war.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, was among several units the Pentagon said in November would go to Iraq as part of the normal rotation of forces. The department said in a statement Wednesday that the brigade of some 3,200 will deploy this spring to Afghanistan instead to relieve a unit overdue to go home.
Another unit will be found to replace the 173rd in Iraq.
Fighting in Afghanistan the past year was the bloodiest since the U.S.-led war started in 2001 and toppled the Taliban regime. Commanders anticipate a renewed offensive this spring by Taliban fighters.
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