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article imageUS confirms it will pull out 2,200 troops from Iraq

By Ken Hanly     Sep 10, 2020 in Politics
The US Central Command CENTCOM officials claim that it will. withdraw 2,200 troops from Iraq before the upcoming US election. The troops are to be withdrawn by the end of September confirming what the Trump administration has said recently.
Pentagon seems resigned to the reduction
In the past the Pentagon has resisted any major troop cuts but this time seems resigned to the reduction. The Pentagon emphasizes that the US has made a great sacrifices in the decades long Iraq war and vowed to continue supporting the Iraq government. There will still be about 3,000 US troops remaining in Iraq.
Marine General Frank McKenzie
head of CENTCOM said on a visit to Iraq: "We are continuing to expand on our partner capacity programmes that enable Iraqi forces and allow us to reduce our footprint in Iraq..In recognition of the great progress the Iraqi forces have made and in consultation and coordination with the government of Iraq and our coalition partners, the United States has decided to reduce our troop presence in Iraq from about 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September."
Iraqi parliament voted for all foreign troops to leave
Some time ago the Iraqi parliament voted for all foreign troops to be withdrawn. The US at the time threatened Iraq with sanctions if it were forced to withdraw. However, Iraq now has a pro-US premier, and no longer is pushing for an immediate pullout nor is the US threatening Iraq. However, Trump may feel that a reduction in troops will help him win the November election. At the same time he is leaving a substantial number there indicating he still supports keeping a presence in Iraq.
US helped defeat the Islamic State ISIS
With the help of the US Iraqi forces including militias have mainly defeated ISIS. However, the US wants to keep some troops in Iraq to counter Iranian influence. Iran-supported militia have launched attacks on US forces in Iraq. ISIS is now so weak that Iraqi forces are capable of coping with any terrorist activity by the group.
The US invaded Iraq back in 2003 but left in 2011, only to return in 20014 after the Islamic State seized large areas of the country.
More about US Iraq relations, US troops in Iraq, Iraq
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