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Shafaq News / The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fouad Hussein announced on Wednesday that Baghdad and Washington had reached an agreement on the withdrawal of 500 American forces from the country, bringing the number of those forces to 2,500.
Fouad Hussein said in a press conference held today, that “after the important communication and consultation between Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it was agreed to announce the withdrawal of 500 other US forces, bringing the total number of those forces present in Iraq to 2,500. an item”.
He added, “We have entered the fourth and final stage of the withdrawal of US forces, and when we talk about this stage, we have reached zero and that the combat operations end, which was the reason for the presence of foreign forces in Iraq,” stressing that the American forces that will remain in Iraq are not combat.
The minister continued by saying that “foreign forces came from 80 countries to the country at the request of the federal government,” adding that “in light of the military reports and in the military sense, ISIS has been defeated, but at the same time its terrorist cells are still present in the Hamrin Hills, the Badia Desert, and South West of Anbar, the outskirts of Kirkuk, and on the other side in Syria. ”
Hussein noted that the federal government will continue to coordinate with its US counterpart, stressing that future work with the American side will continue in the field of intelligence information, military advice and training of Iraqi forces.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that it would reduce the number of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan .
Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the Pentagon would begin withdrawing part of US forces from Afghanistan and Iraq .
Miller added that the number of US forces in Iraq would be reduced from 3,200 to 2,500, and in Afghanistan from about 4,500 to 2,500 .
He indicated that the decision to reduce forces was taken based on the directives of outgoing US President Donald Trump and after consulting with the National Security Council and military leaders.
The leader of the Republican majority in the US Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell, issued a warning to his ally, President Donald Trump, against accelerating the pace of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan or Iraq, considering that such a measure would give extremist movements a ” great propaganda victory .”
McConnell said in a speech in the Senate that “the consequences of a premature US withdrawal may be worse than Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which led to the rise of ISIS .”
He added that such a withdrawal would represent a “abandonment” by the United States of its allies, would pave the way for the Taliban movement to extend its influence in Afghanistan, and would allow ISIS and Al Qaeda to regroup in Iraq .
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