Sunday, April 01, 2007

Military: Half of 'surge' troops now in Iraq, rest expected by June

Above: U.S. soldiers on patrol in Baghdad. Although Rear Admiral Fox said half of the surge troops had arrived, his stated total of 140,000 troops now in Iraq would be inconsistent with the arrival of 15,000 more for the 'surge' when added to previous DOD statements on the total number of troops in country.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - About half of the nearly 30,000 additional U.S. troops being sent to Iraq in a new effort to stabilize the country have now been deployed, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday.

The rest were either in staging areas in neighboring Kuwait or on their way, Rear Admiral Mark Fox told a news conference in Baghdad. In total there are about 140,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq.

"We expect the remainder to be in place by early June," he said.

Most of the troops are being sent to Baghdad for a U.S.-backed security crackdown to curb rampant sectarian violence. Reinforcements are also being sent to western Anbar province, heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency.

Read the rest at the Washington Post