US to form new brigades for Iraq mission
The Pentagon says it will deploy newly created army brigades in Iraq ahead of a planned withdrawal of US combat forces from the war-torn country, reported Press TV.
The US Defense Department says about 14,000 troops in four brigades will help train Iraqi security forces and protect ongoing civilian efforts.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says the troops are the first elements of a residual US force.
"The mission of these units will be to train and mentor Iraqi security forces, conduct coordinated counter-terrorism missions and protect ongoing civilian and military efforts in Iraq," Whitman said.
He insists the brigades would still have the capability to carry out combat missions when necessary.
Washington announced August 2010 as the deadline for the exit of its combat troops, but says it will leave a smaller force in the country, ostensibly to support Iraqi security forces.
Under a US-Iraq security pact that took effect earlier this year, all US occupation forces must leave Iraq by the end of 2011.