Trump announces a new reduction of US forces in Iraq
US President Donald Trump announced, on Thursday, that the United States will reduce its forces in Iraq to two thousand soldiers within a very short period.
Trump’s comments came during a press conference published by the White House on his Twitter account and reported by the media.
On Wednesday, the US military announced that it would reduce the number of its personnel in Iraq from 5,200 to three thousand, giving an official status to a move that was long expected.
Reuters reported last month that the United States is expected to reduce about a third of its forces in Iraq.
The United States currently has about 5,200 troops in Iraq deployed to fight Islamic State. Officials from the US-led coalition said the Iraqi armed forces were now largely able to deal on their own with the remnants of the militant group.
“We continue to expand our partner’s capabilities support programs to empower Iraqi forces, allowing us to reduce our presence in Iraq,” said General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, during a visit to Iraq.
A senior US administration official said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump will announce the withdrawal of more US forces from Iraq.
The United States and Iraq confirmed in June their commitment to reduce US forces in the country in the coming months, with Washington not intending to maintain permanent bases or a permanent military presence.
In 2016, Trump’s election campaign called for an end to America’s “never-ending wars”, but US forces are still present in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, albeit in smaller numbers.
During his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister last month, Trump reiterated his promise to withdraw US forces from Iraq.
Trump’s meeting with the Iraqi prime minister came at a time when tensions between the United States and Iran are witnessing a new escalation after Washington said it would seek the United Nations to reimpose all the US sanctions it was imposing on Tehran.
Earlier this year, the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of withdrawing US forces, and US and other forces in the coalition have begun to gradually leave the country. Source