Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, confirmed that, an agreement has been signed with the United States, to gradually reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.
“There is a plan agreed upon by the states of the international coalition, to reduce their forces in Iraq gradually, to avoid possible vacuum, especially with the threat of the Daesh in Syria, and the need to safeguard the borderline (with Syria),” Abadi said, in a televised press conference, after the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We have defeated the terrorists in Iraq in the military front, but there are still terrorist cells operating in different parts of the country, and the Iraqi forces are conducting daily operations against them,” Abadi said, asserting that Iraq want to cooperate with other states to completely eradicate terrorism.
“The Iraqi government will coordinate with the United States to gradually reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq as the Daesh has been defeated,” spokesman, Saad al-Hadithi, said, via phone.
“The focus of our next stage will turn from military cooperation to training and arming the Iraqi forces,” Hadithi said.
On Jan 10, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman told local media, the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq has been decreased, especially in Anbar province, in coordination with the Iraqi forces.
“There will be a gradual reduction of the U.S. forces in the coming months without replacing them with others,” Silliman said.
Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq, to support the Iraqi forces during the battles against Daesh militants, since 2014.
Source: NAM News Network