Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the U.S. Central Command, announced on Tuesday that the U.S. military will keep its current troop levels in Iraq until mid-2007 due to rising sectarian violence. He added that during the period the Pentagon may send more troops or extend deployments of other units if needed. Late last year, news reports said Pentagon officials hoped to reduce troop levels to about 100,000 by the end of this year. In August, the Pentagon increased troop levels to 147,000 from 127,000 in late June.