US Starting to Withdraw Forces in Iraq Following Defeat of ISIS

Posted February 07, 2018

Some 4,000 US troops will continue training Iraqi army.

"The total number of United States forces in Iraq now includes 8,400 troops, mostly consultants and their bodyguards", the expert said, adding that Washington wants to keep around 4,000 troops in Iraq for an indefinite period, based on conditions set by the USA strategy.

U.S. Army soldiers stands next to a guided-missile launcher, a few miles from the frontline, in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq. According to contractors at a US-led coalition base in Iraq, dozens of troops, with weapons and equipment, have been flown out of the country on daily flights to Afghanistan over the past week.

The contractors said dozens of US soldiers had left on daily flights over the past week.

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Its continued presence will be "conditions-based, proportional to the need and in coordination with the government of Iraq", it added.

The reported agreement comes three months ahead of Iraqi elections in which the presence of U.S. troops in the country is expected to be a divisive issue.

If the drawdown is true, it represents the first of its kind since the war against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was launched over three years ago.

The US first launched airstrikes against IS in Iraq in August 2014, as part of a military intervention which was initially described as "limited". 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.

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South Sudan is the worlds youngest country, and has been supported by the US since it's inception in 2011. It is a largely symbolic move, as the United States does not export arms to South Sudan.

Human Rights Watch said in December that hundreds of detainees held by the Iraqi Kurdish authorities in Kirkuk were feared to have been "forcibly disappeared".

The terror group surrendered control of 98 percent of its territory in the region and now occupies only two percent of land near the Syrian city of Al-Shaafah, where the strike occurred.

"We've had a recent change of mission and soon we'll be supporting a different theater of operations in the coming month", U.S. Army 1st Lt. William Raymond told the Associated Press.

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