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US troops 'vindicated' by lifting of ban on women in combat

24 January 2013 Last updated at 02:49 GMT

A Pentagon decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat roles is "a vindication", according to one former US Army soldier.

Kayla Williams, who served in the Middle East as an Arabic interpreter, said the decision was "formalising the ground reality", as female troops already serve in war zones as medics and in intelligence roles.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to formally announce the lifting of the ban on Thursday, overturning a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to small ground-combat units.