Skip to main content
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
WORLD header
Iraq Transition

Get ready to go to Iraq, 35,000 U.S. troops told

Story Highlights

NEW: Ten U.S. combat brigades are told to prepare to deploy late this year
• Car bomb in Kufa leaves at least 16 people dead
• Five police officers killed by suicide bomber at Jalawla police station
• Three killed when roadside bomb strikes minibus in Baghdad
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- About 35,000 U.S. soldiers have been told to prepare for deployment to Iraq in late 2007 to replace troops already in the fight, the Army said Tuesday.

The move will give U.S. commanders the capability to maintain the buildup of American combat forces in Iraq that President Bush announced in January.

But Pentagon officials said no decision has been taken to keep those levels, and White House spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday's notification "has nothing to do with the surge."

"This is part of the regular process now of trying really to make sure you have predictable deployments and predictable time off between deployments," Snow said.

The Army provides the bulk of the 146,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq. About 15,000 more troops are expected to be deployed by summer to support the U.S.-led effort to pacify Baghdad and neighboring provinces.

Bush ordered nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq in January as part of that effort.

The 10 combat brigades that received orders will be deployed for 15 months, in line with the new policy that Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced in April. In exchange, the service will keep soldiers at home for a year between deployments, Gates said.

Tuesday's announcement comes amid a heated debate in Washington on the future of the four-year-old war, which has claimed the lives of nearly 3,400 U.S. service members. (Full story)

Bush has asked for more than $95 billion in new war funding and vetoed a bill written by Democrats that set a March 2008 goal for the withdrawal of U.S. combat units.

Bomb kills 16 near mosque

In Iraq on Tuesday, a parked car bomb exploded near a prominent Shiite mosque in a southern city, killing 16 civilians and wounding at least 64 others, authorities said. (Watch Iraqis inspect remains of a car bomb Video)

The strike, along with a suicide attack targeting police in Diyala province and a roadside bombing in Baghdad, killed 24 people across the country Tuesday.

The car bombing occurred in Kufa, just northeast of Najaf in a region populated predominantly by Shiite Arabs. The bomb exploded near restaurants in the city's al-Shahristani Square.

A spokesman for the mayor's office said the blast detonated about half a mile from the Kufa Mosque and occurred near restaurants that cater to Shiite pilgrims, who customarily stop there on the way to the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Kufa is about 95 miles (150 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

The roadside bomb exploded near a minibus in southeastern Baghdad's Zafaraniya neighborhood about 8:30 a.m., killing three people and wounding five others, police said.

In the Diyala province town of Jalawla, 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest under a police uniform detonated inside a police station during morning roll call, killing five police officers, Baquba police officials said. Fifteen other people were wounded.

Other developments

  • A meeting Tuesday between Iraq's Shiite prime minister and the country's top Sunni official appeared to ease tensions over threats that the entire Sunni bloc would pull out of the government. "The meeting was necessary to melt the ice that was accumulated over the brotherhood between me and my brother, the prime minister," said Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. Al-Hashimi had told CNN that if key amendments to the Iraqi Constitution are not made by May 15, he would step down and pull his 44 Sunni politicians out of the 275-member parliament. (Full story)
  • A roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded another Tuesday southeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The number of U.S. fatalities in the first eight days of May is 28. The U.S. death toll in the Iraq war stands at 3,372. Seven civilian Defense Department contractors also have been killed.
  • The U.S. military said 13 "suspected terrorists" were detained Monday and Tuesday in raids "targeting al Qaeda, foreign fighter facilitators" and a network that made chemical car bombs. The raids took place in Baghdad, southwest of Tal Afar in Nineveh province, and northeast of Karma in Anbar province.
  • CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, Basim Mahdi, Barbara Starr and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

    Follow Related Topics

    Search TopicE-mail Alerts

    A U.S. Apache helicopter patrols over Baghdad on Tuesday.


    • Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
    • Interactive: Sectarian divide


    Quick Job Search
      More Options
    International Edition
    CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
    © 2007 Cable News Network.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
    SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
    Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
    Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more