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US commander in Iraq wants troops in disputed land

BAGHDAD (AP) - The top U.S. commander in Iraq says he wants to deploy American soldiers to disputed territories in northern Iraq following a recent spike in bombings there.

Gen. Ray Odierno says U.S. soldiers would partner with Iraqi government and Kurdish troops to secure the largely unguarded villages along the faultline of land disputed between Arabs and Kurds.

Odierno told reporters Monday that no final decision has been made but that Iraqi and Kurdish leaders are receptive to the idea.

He says the U.S. deployment would be a temporary "confidence-building" measure.

The move would be a departure from the security pact that called for Americans to pull back from populated areas on June 30.

But Odierno says it won't affect the overall withdrawal timeline.

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