Trump, Pentagon announce plans to withdraw more US troops from Iraq


A senior defense official told Fox News that President Trump and the Pentagon have announced a reduction in the US military level from 5,200 to 3,500.

A coordinated declaration is expected officially on Wednesday and the Iraqis are aware of the decision and are on board.

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A senior administration official discussed the draw-down with reporters at Airforce One on Tuesday night, on the condition of anonymity.

ISIS launched more than 100 attacks in Iraq in August, faster than the previous month

The top US general for the Middle East said in July that he believed the US would have a small but permanent presence in Iraq.

US General Command commander Marine General Frank McKenzie said he believed the Iraqis had welcomed the US and coalition troops, especially in the ongoing fight to prevent IS fighters from occupying the country again.

Trump told reporters two weeks ago that “we are waiting for the day when we don’t have to be there.” The remarks came during an Oval Office meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Qadimi. The move appears to be an attempt by Trump to make good on his promise to end US involvement in “endless wars”.

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Military officials have already announced that they plan to reduce troops in Afghanistan from 4 to 5,000 from current levels. This announcement will come from the President in the coming days. A senior US official said that there would be no immediate change for the approximately 600 US troops currently in Syria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report