The U.S. military declared on Wednesday that it would make a troops withdrawal in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 soldiers this month, formalizing a long-awaited move.
Reuters announced last month that the United States was set to decrease the number of troops in Iraq by about a third.
The U.S. has over 5,200 troops stationed in Iraq to combat the extremist Islamic State group. U.S.-led coalition officials believe Iraqi forces are now largely able to tackle the Islamic State remnants on their own.
“We continue to build on our partner capability projects that enable Iraqi forces to minimise our footprint in Iraq,” U.S. head Marine General Frank McKenzie said. Central Command, he said at a visit to Iraq.
On Tuesday, a senior official in the administration had said President Donald Trump would declare a troops withdrawal from Iraq.
In June, the U.S. and Iraq reiterated their commitment to reducing U.S. forces in the world in coming months. Without Washington’s proposals to retain permanent bases or a permanent military presence.
Trump promised in 2016 to stop America’s “endless battles,” but U.S. forces remain, though in reduced numbers, in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The troops withdrawal is a long-waited move
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, whom the reporters asked if he endorsed the drawdown. He said: “Yeah I do as long as there is a roadmap to find out how to handle ISIS.”
Trump redoubled his pledge the troops withdrawal now in Iraq. This was during a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister last month.
Trump‘s meeting with the Iraqi leader came in the wake of a fresh increase in tensions between Washington and Tehran. After Washington said it would aim to return to the United Nations the previously suspended U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Iraq’s parliament called for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq earlier this year. And US and other coalition troops left as part of a draw-down.