Trump to Announce US Troop Withdrawals From Iraq, Afghanistan

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.

US President Donald Trump was expected to announce further troop withdrawals Wednesday from Afghanistan and Iraq, where several thousand US troops hunting down jihadist sleeper cells have faced increasing attacks blamed on pro-Iran 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, US and other coalition troops continued supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes, drone surveillance, and training to prevent a jihadist resurgence.

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About Cholo Brooks 13542 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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