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Petraeus set to review Afghan rules of engagement

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Petraeus set to undertake review of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan
  • Review will include rules of engagement
  • Air strikes and ground operations currently are restricted to protect civilians
  • Petraeus' confirmation hearings set to begin Tuesday

Washington (CNN) -- Gen. David Petraeus intends to undertake a sweeping review of American military operations in Afghanistan -- including the rules of engagement for troops -- if he is confirmed by the Senate as the top U.S. commander in that country, U.S. military officials told CNN Friday.

Petraeus was tapped by President Barack Obama earlier this week to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was relieved of his duties Wednesday after the general and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article making comments that appeared to mock top administration officials.

Petraeus "knows the troops have some consternation" about the current rules, one source said. Under McChrystal, tight rules were put into place restricting air strikes and ground operations in order to better protect civilians.

Among other things, Petraeus will seek to find out if the troops simply need a better understanding of the rules or if the rules need to be changed, the sources noted.

Video: How will Petraeus impact war?

If confirmed, Petraeus will have "the flexibility to make changes that he thinks are necessary," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday. "He's very aware of the issue of civilian casualties."

Senate confirmation hearings for Petraeus, who oversaw the U.S. military surge in Iraq, are set to begin Tuesday.

CNN's Barbara Starr and Mike Mount contributed to this report.