US formalizes move to reduce military presence in Iraq

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The United States military has announced plan to reduce its presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 troops this month.

While disclosing this on on Wednesday September 9, 2020, Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, stated that the reduction would formalize a move that had been long expected.

“We are continuing to expand on our partner capacity programmes that enable Iraqi forces and allow us to reduce our footprint in Iraq,” McKenzie during a visit to Iraq.

The US and Iraq in June affirmed their commitment to the reduction of American troops in the country in coming months, with no plans by Washington to maintain permanent bases or a permanent military presence.

The US has about 5,200 troops that were deployed in Iraq to fight the armed group ISIL (ISIS).

Officials in the US-led coalition said Iraqi forces are now mostly able to handle the ISIL remnants on their own.

Late Tuesday, a senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on board Air Force One that such an announcement was coming and an announcement on the withdrawal of additional troops from Afghanistan also could be expected in the coming days.

The US invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011, but returned in 2014 after ISIL overran large parts of the country.

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