United States to Reduce Troop Levels in Iraq

United States to Reduce Troop Levels in Iraq

United States to Reduce Troop Levels in Iraq

Earlier Monday, The Associated Press and Reuters quoted an Iraqi government spokesman as saying USA forces were drawing down in the country following ISIS's defeat there. "Coordination continues, to maintain (U.S.) assistance to the Iraqi forces in accordance with their requirements".

With ISIS almost defeated on the battlefield, the USA -led anti-ISIS coalition has shifted its focus in Iraq from enabling the Iraqi military's combat operations to maintaining those gains as ISIS becomes an insurgency.

Sources say coordination will continue between the USA military and Iraqi forces based on conditions not yet released.

An Associated Press reporter at the Al-Asad base in western Iraq saw troop movements reflecting the account by contractors.

The contractors and officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations and declined to reveal the exact size of the drawdown.

On Monday, an Iraqi spokesman confirmed the drawdown, due to the U.S-led coalition securing all the territory back from the Islamic State's control.

Pahon said: "there is a downward trend in USA troops there [in Iraq], yes, but not a huge impending exodus".

Iraq declared victory over ISIS in December 2017, after Iraqi forces eliminated some of the remaining forces of ISIS. In addition, formation of military units by volunteers, known as Hashd al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Units, in Iraq blunted the edge of ISIS offensive and later made the terror group withdraw from the territories it had occupied.

That would leave some 4,000 USA troops to continue training the Iraqi military.

The move comes just weeks after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced the United States' new defense strategy. In 2014, at the height of the Sunni militant group's power, Daesh controlled almost a third of Iraqi territory.

"The blood of Iranian and Iraqi youth were mixed in the war against the ISIL", said the Iraqi major general after voicing gratitude for all the help offered by the Islamic Republic of Iran in war against the ISIL. At a press briefing last month U.S. Marine Corps Brig.

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