Petraeus: US is flying Georgian troops into battle zone

The Times | ‘US aircraft have started to fly some of Georgia’s 2,000 troops in Iraq back home to join the fight in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq said toda

“The flights are ongoing to redeploy the elements of the Georgian contingent so that they can deal with the security issues in their country,” General Petraeus told The Times in an interview at his office inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.

He said measures were already in place to mitigate the impact on operations in Iraq of the sudden departure of the soldiers.

“We can accommodate that. Obviously it was not expected but it is something, the effects of which we can certainly mitigate.”

The Georgian contingent has been taking part in an operation with US and Iraqi forces to clear the south-eastern corner of Diyala province, north of Baghdad, a known al-Qaeda stronghold.

Some 150 Georgian soldiers also guard the Iraqi Parliament building as well as other key structures inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

In addition, one battalion is helping to support the Iraqi security forces in Wasit province, south of the capital, near the Iranian border.

what happens if a US military plane carry troops into a combat zone is shot down (accidentally!) by Russians? US troops did joint exercises in Georgia last month, are they still there?

jc, white plains ny, usa

God Bless America!! Just another example of U.S. interference in another country’s affairs. One of these days it is all going to come back & bite them. I suppose this will become part of the Obama/McCain platform? We screwed up/lied in Iraq so we might as well move on to Georgia.

IAN RAYBURN, Gloucester, Canada

What? 1000 soldiers to face the Red Army? Who’s their leader? Leonidas?

Eugene, heidelberg, germany