Politics

Trump To Withdraw More US Troops From Iraq, Afghanistan

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President, , is set to announce further withdrawal of the country’s troops in and .

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Thousands of hunting Jihadist sleeper cells have faced incessant attacks from suspected pro-Iranian factions.

The deadly bomb and rocket attacks have put additional pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, who has pledged to rein in rogue groups pledged to fight the US military presence.

During Washington talks with Kadhemi last month, Trump said US forces would leave Iraq but gave no timetable or specific troop levels.

A senior administration official told reporters that the president would make an announcement on Wednesday, but offered no additional details.

The US has already been steadily downsizing its troop levels in Iraq in recent months as Iraqis take over more combat and training roles from foreign forces.

“These withdrawals are part of the agreed transition of the US-led coalition’s role in Iraq,” an Iraqi official told AFP ahead of Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The US deployed thousands of forces to Iraq in 2014 to lead a military intervention against the Islamic State group, which had swept across a third of the country.

Even after Baghdad declared IS defeated in late 2017, the US and other coalition troops continued supporting Iraqi forces with airstrikes, drone surveillance and training to prevent a jihadist resurgence.

By late 2018, there were an estimated 5,200 troops still stationed in Iraq, making up the bulk of the 7,500 coalition forces there, according to US officials.

Over the past year, dozens of rocket attacks have targeted those forces as well as the US embassy in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone, killing at least five military personnel — three Americans, one Briton and one Iraqi.

Adelowo Adegboyega
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