Medicine

Iraq Spokesman: US Reducing Troop Levels

Iraq Spokesman: US Reducing Troop Levels

The US military is starting to pull American troops from Iraq.

The number of U.S. forces in Iraq will fall after the government in Baghdad declared victory over ISIS, an Iraqi government spokesman told CNN.

Its continued presence will be "conditions-based, proportional to the need and in coordination with the government of Iraq", it added.

In his Monday statement, Braga said the US military presence in Iraq will now focus on policing, border control and military capacity building, as well as enabling diplomatic and economic efforts to stabilize Iraq.

The U.S. -led coalition has said in a press release on Monday it would switch operations in Iraq from its combat phase to sustaining and securing gains made against the Islamic State terrorist group.

In 2014, at the height of the militant group's power, ISIL controlled almost a third of Iraqi territory, before being beaten back by security forces backed by a US-led coalition. An unnamed senior Iraqi official told the AP an initial agreement between Baghdad and Washington would see 60 percent of USA troops withdraw.

An Iraqi government spokesman confirmed that the drawdown had begun, to the Associated Press on Monday, although he stated that it was still in the early stages and would take some time.

One senior Iraqi official close to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said 60 percent of all American troops now in the country will be withdrawn, according to the initial agreement reached with the United States.




The US first launched airstrikes against IS in Iraq in August 2014, as part of a military intervention which was initially described as "limited".

Human Rights Watch said in December that hundreds of detainees held by the Iraqi Kurdish authorities in Kirkuk were feared to have been "forcibly disappeared".

On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.

"Our enduring presence as invited guests in Iraq will shift to focus more on policing, border control and military capacity building", Brig.

Two major Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite groups have reportedly demanded that the United States leave Iraq, with one of them, the Badr Organization, saying that any remaining American troops would trigger instability.

A Pentagon report in December stated that there were 8,892 U.S. troops in the country.

The Iraqi spokesperson stressed the drawdown was still in its early stages and does not mark the beginning of a complete pullout of U.S. forces.


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