In a new sign of mounting strain from the war in Iraq, the US Army has extended the combat tours of about 4,000 soldiers who would otherwise be returning home, a defense official said Monday.
The 1st Brigade of 1st Armored Division, which is operating in the vicinity of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, will be kept in place for several weeks beyond their scheduled departure, the official said. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced by the Defense Department.
The brigade's home base is in Friedberg, Germany. The soldiers' families were notified of the extension Monday, the official said.