Government Spokesman Says US Forces Begin Reducing Numbers in Iraq
Government Spokesman Says US Forces Begin Reducing Numbers in Iraq
Gholamreza Langari who was killed in Syria
06 February, 2018, 17:55
"Military success has bought time, space and security for non-military stabilization efforts to help the people of Iraq, and we look to facilitate the return of normalcy for Iraqis", Braga said.
Iraq declared the defeat of IS in December - a major victory for country which once saw almost one-third of its territory controlled by the group.
Sources say coordination will continue between the USA military and Iraqi forces based on conditions not yet released. This meant U.S. troops would be "gradually reduced", Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told CNN.
The U.S. will move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, however, the shift will not represent a large "exodus" of soldiers from the country, Department of Defence spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik.
Two months later, Iraq's army and US -led coalition allies launched the offensive to free Mosul from ISIS.
However, an AP reporter at the Al-Asad base in western Iraq saw troop movements reflecting the contractors' account of a drawdown.
Raymond declined to say where his unit was being redeployed because the information has not yet been made public.
Iraqi forces are preparing an operation to consolidate control of an area near the Iran border to be used for the transit of Iraqi oil, two officials said on Monday, highlighting concern about mountainous terrain where two armed groups are active.
"We'll continue our presence as long as the Iraqis ask us to".
Meanwhile, Iraq said in October that it hoped to restore production at oil fields in the Nineveh area around Mosul over the "next few months", after rehabilitating the sites that Islamic State militants had set on fire to try to hamper the US -backed offensive on Mosul.
Al-Abadi, who is seeking another term, has struggled to balance the often competing interests of Iran and the United States, both key allies that have backed him against the Islamic State.
However, the Pentagon insists no drawdown is taking place.
"Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of USA national security", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last month in remarks outlining the strategy. The terrorist group swept through Iraq in 2014, and at its height controlled a third of Iraqi territory. ISIS still retains the ability to carry out lethal attacks and poses a potent threat to civilians and to the stability of the region.
According to The Washington Post, the U.S. Army is floating plans to increase the total number of troops in Afghanistan by another 1,000.
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