Pentagon Halts Deployment Of 3500 Troops To Iraq
Pentagon officials said 3,500 fresh US troops will not deploy to Iraq as had been planned for early May, as commanders monitor security on the ground. "The Second Brigade, First Infantry Division, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, will not begin its deployment to Iraq in early May as scheduled," the Defense Department said in a statement. The statement said the decision would "not affect the current number of US troops in Iraq, which is numbering approximately 133,000".Commander of the coalition forces, General George Casey, recommended last year substantial troop reductions for 2006. In late April, he said that selection of new Iraqi Prime Minister Jawad al-Maliki was an important milestone in that respect. The Pentagon statement said that more than 254,000 Iraqi troops have been trained and equipped.