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Senate Confirms Petraeus As Afghanistan Commander

General David Petraeus
The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Barack Obama's choice to the command of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

General David Petraeus replaces General Stanley McChrystal, who was dismissed last week after criticizing top U.S. officials in a magazine article.

Petraeus, who previously led the U.S. war in Iraq, played down hopes of a quick turnaround in his confirmation hearing on June 29. He also said he would reassess restrictive rules of engagement, which have come under intense criticism amid rising civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

On a visit to Washington on June 30, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox called Petraeus a "gifted leader" and warned of further coalition casualties to come in Afghanistan.

In a reminder of the fierce fight ahead, Taliban fighters attacked a NATO-operated airport in eastern Afghanistan on June 30. Several attackers were reported killed and two soldiers wounded.

compiled from agency reports