U.S. on target to complete combat troops withdrawal from Iraq: commander Odierno

08:12, April 19, 2010      

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Top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, said Sunday the United States is on target to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by September.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Odierno said he expects to cut troops level in Iraq in half by the end of the summer in accordance with an agreement with the Iraqi government.

Odierno currently has 95,000 U.S. troops under his command in Iraq. The withdrawal would leave 50,000 non-combat troops to " advise and assist" the Iraqi forces.

"Our plans are intact. I feel very comfortable with our plan and unless something unforeseen and disastrous happens, I fully expect us to be at 50,000 by the first of September," said Odierno.

"The Iraqi security forces are now in the lead of going after al-Qaida," said he.

U.S. media have been reporting last week that Odierno is to leave the Iraq post after the completion of combat troops withdrawal, and his likely successor is Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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