Italy's defense minister says his country will send about 1,000 extra troops to Afghanistan.

Ignazio La Russa reiterated in comments to Milan daily Corriere della Sera that the exact figure will be determined soon said it would be "below" the 1,500 figure that news reports said Italy would provide in response to a U.S. request.

La Russa was asked if the reinforcements would add up to 1,000 soldiers. He replied,"Let's say yes."

The American ambassador to Rome told La Stampa newspaper that the 1,000 figure was being discussed but needed to be worked out with NATO.

Officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the reports Thursday.

Italy has 2,800 troops in Afghanistan.