US Pulling Troops from Iraq After Crushing ISIS

Yahya Rahim Safavi

Yahya Rahim Safavi

An Iraqi government spokesman said Monday the US has begun to reduce the number of its troops in-country. At a press briefing last month U.S. Marine Corps Brig. U.S. led coalition has also claimed of playing important role in fighting against the terror group.

According to contractors at a US-led coalition base in Iraq, dozens of troops, with weapons and equipment, have been flown out of the country on daily flights to Afghanistan over the past week.

An AP reporter at the base saw troop movements matching the officials' account.

"The American forces have begun reducing their numbers as victory has been achieved over Daesh", the spokesman told Reuters, referring to the Islamic State militant group. USA troop numbers eventually reduced to 40,000 before the complete withdrawal in 2011.

U.S. Army soldiers stands next to a guided-missile launcher, a few miles from the frontline, in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

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According to the report, issued by the Pentagon past year, some 8,892 U.S. troops had been deployed in Iraq. Iraq was the first country in USA military history where they were forced to withdraw in accordance to the initial agreement for the forces withdrawal from that country.

One of the USA soldiers at Ain Assad Airbase, was quoted saying as, "We've had a recent change of mission and soon we'll be supporting a different theatre of operations in the coming month".

Raymond declined to say where his unit was being redeployed because the information has not yet been made public.

Several western contractors have also confirmed the withdrawal of USA troops.

Al-Abadi, who is hoping to remain in office for another term, has long struggled to balance the often competing interests of Iraq's two key allies: Iran and the United States.

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The U.S. -led worldwide military coalition helped Iraqi forces recapture territory taken by Islamic State in 2014 and 2015, providing air and artillery support in the battle to for Mosul, and trained tens of thousands of elite Iraqi soldiers.

"The two governments should coordinate to ensure a full withdrawal".

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

"They are more risky than those who appeared on the first list published on Sunday and they are wanted internationally whereas the others are wanted only by the Iraqi courts", a security official said.

The troops were part of the USA -led worldwide coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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Iraqi special forces raided a hideout of Daesh militants in al-Bir town, 45 kilometers southeast of Mosul upon a tip-off from local residents, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdel-Salam al-Jabouri told Anadolu Agency.

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