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4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq coming home

Army Gen. Ray Odierno says it would bring the total number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq to about 120,000 over the next month.

September 30, 2009|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The top general in Iraq is sending home 4,000 more U.S. troops by the end of October as the American military winds down the six-year war.

Army Gen. Ray Odierno said in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing today that the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq would total about 120,000 over the next month.

He said that would mean about 4,000 fewer troops than are in Iraq now -- about the size of an Army brigade.

"As we go forward, we will thin our lines across Iraq in order to reduce the risk and sustain stability through a deliberate transition of responsibilities to the Iraqi security forces," Odierno said in a statement he was to deliver before the House Armed Services Committee.

A Pentagon official confirmed that Odierno planned to announce that he was reducing the number of brigades in Iraq, as has been expected.

In his eight-page statement, Odierno cited data showing that the monthly number of attacks in Iraq had dropped considerably over the last two years -- from more than 4,000 in August 2007 to about 600 last month. He also said far fewer foreign fighters remained in Iraq.

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