General says US chopping troops in Iraq to three,000 this month

Washington, September 9

The United States is lowering its troop presence in Iraq this month from 5,200 to three,000, the highest American commander for the Middle East stated Wednesday, as President Donald Trump tries to make good on his marketing campaign promise to get the United States out of “endless wars”.

During a go to to Iraq, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, stated the discount in Iraq displays US confidence within the capability of US-trained Iraqi safety forces to deal with the militant risk from the Islamic State group, which entered Iraq from Syria in 2014.

Late Tuesday, a senior Trump administration official, talking on situation of anonymity, advised reporters aboard Air Force One that such an announcement was coming and that an announcement on the withdrawal of further troops from Afghanistan additionally might be anticipated within the coming days.

Trump has been attempting to make the case that he has fulfilled the guarantees he made 4 years in the past as he campaigns for a second time period.

US forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001. They invaded Iraq in 2003 and left in 2011 however returned in 2014 after the Islamic State group overran massive elements of Iraq.

“In recognition of the great progress the Iraqi forces have made and in consultation and coordination with the government of Iraq and our coalition partners, the United States has decided to reduce our troop presence in Iraq from about 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September,” McKenzie stated, in response to an excerpt of his remarks supplied by his workplace.

McKenzie stated the remaining US troops would proceed advising and helping Iraqi safety forces as they try and root out remnants of the Islamic State group, generally known as ISIS.

“The US decision is a clear demonstration of our continued commitment to the ultimate goal, which is an Iraqi security force that is capable of preventing an ISIS resurgence and of securing Iraq’s sovereignty without external assistance,” McKenzie stated.

“The journey has been difficult, the sacrifice has been great, but the progress has been significant.” Tensions spiked between the US and Iraq in January after a US drone strike close to the Baghdad airport killed Iranian Gen.

Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Angry Iraqi lawmakers, spurred on by Shiite political factions, handed a nonbinding decision to oust all US-led coalition forces from the nation.

In response to the Soleimani killing, Iran on January eight launched a ballistic missile assault on al-Asad air base in Iraq, which resulted in traumatic mind accidents to greater than 100 American troops. Two months later, US fighter jets struck 5 websites in retaliation, concentrating on Iranian-backed Shiite militia members believed chargeable for the January rocket assault. — AP


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