- Mar 13, 2007
- Reaction score
U.S. says all Iraq reinforcements in place now
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - All U.S. troop reinforcements heading to Iraq to help restore security have now arrived, but it could take several more months before their weight is fully felt, the U.S. military said on Friday.
The United States has sent around 28,000 extra troops to Iraq for a fresh security push, launched in mid-February, aimed at curbing sectarian killing and winning the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki time for political reform.
"Everyone is here on the ground now. But obviously the troops that have just got here are going to take some time to integrate into their battle space and get to know their counterparts," U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver said.
It will take 30 to 60 days for the new arrivals, who have taken total U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 160,000, to win the confidence of residents and start getting the intelligence needed to counter insurgent and militant attacks, Garver said.
That means troops might not be operating at full capacity until August. The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are due to report on the success of the security build-up in September.
U.S. President George W. Bush is under growing pressure from Congress to begin pulling troops out and end the unpopular war, which has killed more than 3,500 U.S. soldiers since the U.S-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The U.S. military said four soldiers were killed on Thursday, three when their vehicle was hit by an explosion in northern Kirkuk province. The fourth was shot dead in Diyala province north of Baghdad. There have been 42 U.S. troop deaths so far this month. A total of 126 were killed in May......