08:16 GMT19 January 2021
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    Around 2,000 US Army soldiers were temporarily banned from a main street in the Italian city of Vicenza for 45 days after a brawl broke out between soldiers and locals.

    According to a report by the Telegraph, members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in the Italian city got into a fight with two young locals after a verbal altercation in front of a watering hole for combat paratroopers. The details of the altercation are unknown. 

    “This is not my face. I was not like this before,” Riccardo Passaro, 21, one of locals involved in the incident is quoted as saying after receiving surgery on his shattered jaw. The identity of the other local involved in the brawl is unknown.

    City officials are trying to recover camera footage of the incident to determine the details of what happened. In addition, 173rd Airborne Brigade commander Col. Kenneth Burgess released a warning stating that any US Army officers who enter the banned area could face disciplinary action. 

    According to the Telegraph, the US military presence in Vicenza has increased during the last decade, especially with the expansion of the Vicenza base for members of the US Africa Command and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, which conducts NATO ally exercises in Europe. 

    NATO is a military alliance between 29 North American and European countries, which was established in 1949 by 12 members amid the beginnings of the Cold War between the socialist Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies and the capitalist Western powers who formed NATO.

    According to the Telegraph, Vicenza’s roughly 113,000 inhabitants usually get along with the more 12,000 American military service members and their families who live in the area. However, heavy drinking and disorderly conduct among US Army members has increased since the base’s expansion. 

    Last year, there were 550 violent incidents involving Americans in Vicenza, resulting in frequent joint patrols by US military and the Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy, this year. 


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