Bush reduces troop deployment tour in Iraq

July 31st, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 31 (Xinhua) Citing “sustained progress” in the security of the country, US President George W. Bush Thursday announced that US troops deploying to Iraq would serve 12-month tours instead of the current 15-month tours. Speaking to the media outside the Oval Office of the White House, Bush said: “This has been a month of encouraging news from Iraq.”

The reduction of tour length “will relieve the burden on our forces and it will make life easier for our wonderful military families”, he said, adding that the new move would start from Aug 1.

“Violence is down to its lowest levels since the spring of 2004 and we are now in our third consecutive month with reduced violence levels holding steady,” Bush said.

He also said that he expected to hear a recommendation on troop levels in Iraq from David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq.

However, Bush remained uncommitted to a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq but hinted that further reduction of troop levels was possible in the wake of improving conditions in the war-ravaged country.

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