US President Donald Trump confirmed Washington’s plans to reduce the military contingent in Iraq Saturday, APA reports citing TASS.
"US planning to cut military presence in Iraq", Trump tweeted, adding a link to a report by One American News Network. The report, which cites its sources, claims that the US intends to reduce its military presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,500 servicemen.
Trump made no further comments about the planned withdrawal. It is also unclear whether he endorses all data mentioned in the report.
Earlier, a senior US Administration official told journalists that the US will continue to reduce its military presence in Iraq, although no strict timescale or certain number of troops being withdrawn has been defined yet. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Trump discussed this issue with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi during their meeting in the White House on August 20.
US forces carry out various operations on Iraqi soil since 2003. On January 3 this year, the US forces conducted a missile strike in the proximity of the airport of Baghdad, killing Iranian General Qasem Suleimani. In response, Tehran hit two Iraqi bases used by the US military. The US attacks on Shia groups in Iraq have been criticized by the Iraqi government. On January 5, the Iraqi Parliament adopted a resolution demanding complete withdrawal of all foreign forces.