US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq on Wednesday, according to a senior administration official He turns his back on the news that he allegedly insulted American veterans and died in battle.
The official said he would also announce an additional reduction in the US military in Afghanistan.
Trump is outpacing Democratic rival Joe Biden in public opinion polls before the November 3 election.
His announcement, and its timing, may have been aimed at reassuring voters that he is running on promises to end what has been described as America’s endless wars.
The US has 5,200 soldiers stationed in Iraq to fight an armed group of ISIL (ISIS).
An American official told the news agency Reuters in August on the condition of anonymity that the country hopes to reduce its troops in Iraq in the coming months.
The US military returned to Iraq in 2014 to help support the government in its fight against ISIL, which had captured a large scale of the country.
Call for full withdrawal
But calls for a full withdrawal of US troops and US-Iraq tensions escalated after rocket attacks on US military and diplomatic sites, and Iran’s elite force commander, General Kasem Soleimani, and Iraq’s Hashd al-Shabi, Abu Was killed Mahdi al-Muhandis in US attack near Baghdad Airport in January.
A few days after that incident, the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the withdrawal of all foreign troops as Iran-backed armed groups vowed to avenge the killings.
|What next for American soldiers in Iraq?|
Thousands of Iraqis also rallied across the country, demanding the withdrawal of US troops after the assassination of Solimani and the Mohandsi.
The US-led coalition has since pulled out of six bases and strengthened its presence on only three bases.
In Afghanistan, the US has about 8,600 troops.
Trump said in an interview with Axios released last month that the plan cut that number to around 4,000.
Al Jazeera and news agencies