U.S. reducing troop numbers in Iraq

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on September 9, 2020 - Duration: 01:23s

U.S. reducing troop numbers in Iraq

The military is downsizing its presence in Iraq from 5000 to 3200 troops, as the local military takes over security operations against remnants of the Islamic State militant group.

Caroline Malone reports.

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U.S. reducing troop numbers in Iraq

The United States military on Wednesday announced that it would be reducing its presence in Iraq, formalizing a move that had been long expected.

The U.S. has around 5,200 troops that were deployed in Iraq to fight the Islamic State militant group, which will be cut to 3000 troops.

In June this year, the U.S. and Iraq affirmed a commitment to reduce U.S. troops in the country in coming months, with no plans by Washington to maintain permanent bases or a permanent military presence.

Officials in the U.S.-led coalition say Iraqi forces are now mostly able to handle the remnants of Islamic State on their own.

U.S. President Donald Trump met Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the White House last month after Iraq’s parliament voted all foreign troops should depart the country.

“…we look forward to the day when we don't have to be there.” There’s been increased tension with Iraq and Iran since January, when the U.S. assassinated top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike near Baghdad airport.

The U.S. had a huge presence of more than 100,000 troops in Iraq up until 2011.

The President campaigned in 2016 to end America’s “endless wars.” There are still troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, but in smaller numbers.

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