4,000 US troops to return home from Iraq

May 29th, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, May 29 (DPA) About 4,000 US troops, who were deployed in northern Iraq’s Diyala province last year, will leave Iraq in June as part of an overall troop cut, the US military said Thursday. The Pentagon is planning to cut troops in Iraq to about 140,000 soldiers by July after a surge that included the deployment of 30,000 extra troops to stem violence in Baghdad and surrounding areas.

The 4,000 soldiers from the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat team of the 2nd Infantry Division, will redeploy to Fort Lewis, Washington, the military said.

“We have been very successful during our 14 months of operations in Taji and Diyala,” said Colonel John Lehr, the brigade commander.

The Stryker troops were part of the surge, which added five brigades to the US troops in Iraq. Three of the brigades have already left the country.

Separately, the US military said Thursday its troops killed 10 “special group criminals” in Fedaliyah in the New Baghdad district in east Baghdad.

The US military refers to Shiia renegade militants from the Mahdi Army militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as special group criminals.

In the operation on Wednesday, US troops attacked the militants while they were planting homemade bombs.

Shia-dominated districts in east Baghdad were the scene of heavy fighting that erupted at the end of March between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi and US troops.

A truce reached in April has been occasionally breached by sporadic incidents of violence.

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