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About 12,000 U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq by September - TV


LONDON, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - The United States will cut the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by about 12,000 by September, British TV channel Sky News said on Sunday, referring to the U.S. military.

U.S. President Barack Obama earlier decided to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by late August 2010, with all troops gone by the end of 2011, the TV channel said.

Sky News quoted U.S. military spokesman, Major General David Perkins, as saying that the withdrawal of 12,000 U.S. troops in the next six months would reduce the U.S. combat power in Iraq from 14 to 12 brigades and that the U.S. was handing over facilities to the Iraqi military as part of the pullout.

Obama earlier said that the U.S. leadership planned to double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from the current 36,000 to 60,000 in the next 18 months to fight Taliban militants.

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