Petraeus to hand US Iraq command on Sept 16

U.S. and Iraqi officials are negotiating a security pact that will govern the U.S. occupation in Iraq after the current United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.

Petraeus to hand US Iraq command on Sept 16
U.S. General David Petraeus will hand over command of U.S. forces there to Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno on Sept. 16, a military spokesman said on Sunday.

Petraeus will relinquish command of the approximately 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq after 19 months on the job to become head of Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters responsible for a vast region from Kenya to Kazakhstan.

Odierno most recently served as the number 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, finishing that assignment earlier this year. He will be promoted to full general as he takes over the Iraq command on Sept. 16, said Colonel Steven Boylan, spokesman for Petraeus.

Petraeus will hand over control of a very different Iraq from the one he found when he became U.S. commander here in February 2007.

Pentagon sources said last week they are recommending the withdrawal of one combat brigade, 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers, in early 2009.

The five additional "surge" brigades have already left Iraq and have not been replaced.

U.S. and Iraqi officials are negotiating a security pact that will govern the U.S. occupation in Iraq after the current United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011, although Washington has said no final deal has been reached.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Eylül 2008, 12:34
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