Monday, April 21, 2008

Baghdad faces security test as "surge" units leave

Go to Reuters original
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Violence in the central Baghdad area that Lieutenant-Colonel Craig Collier oversees has fallen sharply over the past year, but the wiry U.S. squadron commander cannot afford to be complacent.

Last month, a unit of soldiers that patrolled a sizable chunk of the Iraqi capital adjacent to Collier's zone became one of the first to return home as part of the unwinding of President George W. Bush's troop "surge."

Collier has taken on responsibility for the departed unit's area and must now maintain security in a vast 20 (8 sq.mile) swathe of Baghdad, from the Tigris River to the violent Shi'ite slum of Sadr City, with half the force that was there only a few months ago.


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