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USA begins Iraq drawdown after declaration of victory over ISIS

USA begins Iraq drawdown after declaration of victory over ISIS”

"There is a coordination with the Iraqi government and the United States to gradually reduce the number of the US troops in Iraq as victory has been achieved over IS group", spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told Xinhua via phone.

Al-Hadithi stressed to the AP that the drawdown is still in its early stages and at present does not mark the beginning of a complete withdrawal of USA forces.

Glynn pledged continued support for 's security forces, but acknowledged US -led coalition "capabilities" in would likely shift now that conventional combat operations against the group have largely ceased.

As of late September, there were almost 9,000 United States troops in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

The contractors say dozens of American soldiers have left on daily flights over the past week.

An Associated Press reporter at the Al-Asad base in western Iraq saw troop movements reflecting the account by contractors.

The troops were part of the USA -led worldwide coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

Several western contractors have also confirmed the withdrawal of US troops.

Iraq's military declared in December that it had "fully liberated" Iraq from ISIS and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The claim that resources were being redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan is significant, as America's longest running war in that country has failed to stop both Taliban and ISIS extremists from seizing territory in recent years.

At that time Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to extend the stay of USA troops in the country despite Washington's requests.

According to a coalition press release, the enduring USA military presence in Iraq will be conditions-based and "proportional to the need and in coordination with the government of Iraq". The presence of U.S. troops grew, however, as Iraq's military struggled to roll back the extremists. Iraq's oil ministry has ordered the state-held North Oil Company to draft "an urgent plan" for rehabilitating the oil fields in Nineveh.

Several weeks ago, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the mission would change from taking territory from IS to one of stabilisation.

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.

Iraq's government said that Iraqi authorities would coordinate U.S. troop presence with the coalition.

IS maintains a "cellular structure" of fighters who carry out attacks in aimed at disrupting local security, U.S. Marine Corps Brig. US troop numbers eventually wound down to 40,000 before the complete withdrawal in 2011.



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