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A man posts reconciliation posters in Baghdad on January 15 (epa)
January 15, 2007 -- The U.S. commander in Iraq has announced the arrival of the first new U.S. troops there as part of President George W. Bush's plan to bolster security.
Bush on January 10 announced that he would send 21,500 more troops to Iraq to halt violence, mainly around Baghdad.
General George Casey did not say how many troops arrived today. He said the deployments may not yield quick results, but added that he expected the situation in Iraq to improve through the summer and fall.
"Together, we and the Iraqis have committed sufficient reliable security forces here to ensure that we succeed," Casey said. "And finally, as with any plan, there are no guarantees of success, and it is not going to happen overnight. But with sustained political support and the concentrated efforts on all sides, I believe that this plan can work."
Speaking alongside Casey in Baghdad, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad pledged that U.S. forces would pursue what he described as networks of Iranian and Syrian agents in Iraq.
Khalilzad also said that the troop surge set the stage for Iraqis to take over security operations for themselves.