United States formally announces troop reduction in Iraq

The United States military on Wednesday announced it will reduce its presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 troops this month, formalising a move that had been long expected.

“We are continuing to expand on our partner capacity programmes that enable Iraqi forces and allow us to reduce our footprint in Iraq,” Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said during a visit to Iraq.

The US and Iraq in June affirmed their commitment to the reduction of American troops in the country in coming months, with no plans by Washington to maintain permanent bases or a permanent military presence.

The US has about 5,200 troops that were deployed in Iraq to fight the armed group ISIL (ISIS). Officials in the US-led coalition said Iraqi forces are now mostly able to handle the ISIL remnants on their own.

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