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US Senate Confirms New US Commander in Middle East

The U.S. Senate Thursday confirmed General David Petraeus as the country's top military commander in the Middle East.

Lawmakers voted 95 - 2 to make General Petraeus the new leader of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia.

The Senate is expected to approve the nomination of Lt. General Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

General Petraeus helped quell growing disapproval of the war in Iraq by providing Congress with progress reports and warning that the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops could plunge Iraq into chaos and reverse progress that had been made.

During his confirmation hearings in May, General Petraeus said he expected to recommend further troop withdrawals before leaving his post in September.

The recommendation would follow a 45-day assessment period over coming months.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.