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US to Reduce Number of Troops in Iraq
VOA News
17 Jan 2004, 17:35 UTC
A U.S. military official in Baghdad says the number of U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced about 20 percent over the coming months, but that will not affect their ability to deal with insurgents.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. presence will be downsized from 130,000 to about 105,000 troops. Much of the reduction will be in Kurdish northern Iraq, which has been relatively calm.

He said the reductions are possible because the military does not see a "regeneration" of the enemy's offensive abilities anytime soon.

The official said the military will also reduce the amount of equipment in Iraq. Many helicopters and tanks will be sent home, and instead troops will use new high tech fighting vehicles known as Strykers, as well as reinforced Humvees and personnel carriers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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