The Iraqi official had told the Associated Press that USA forces had started to withdraw from the country following IS' defeat.
The U.S. has started to reduce the number of its troops in Iraq after Baghdad's declaration of victory over the Islamic State militant group past year, an Iraqi government spokesman and Western contractors said Monday.
Earlier in the day, Iraq's government spokesman Saad Al-Hadithi said the United States had started a gradual reduction of its troops in the country. "USA presence will be cause for internal polarization and a magnet for terrorists", Badr spokesman Kareem Nuri said.
"The Coalition will tailor our forces in consultation with our Iraqi partners in order to ensure the lasting defeat of Daesh", said Brig. That number will be reduced by 60 percent.an Iraqi official told the Associated Press. Raymond declined to specify where his unit was going because the information has not yet been made public.
Yet the Pentagon doesn't even give us figures on troop levels in Iraq anymore, so large numbers of troops could likely be withdrawn and there'd still be enough troops in Iraq as to be in excess of the latest published troop levels.
The Iraq army, backed by a US -led coalition, has driven out Daesh from territory overran by the terrorist group in northern and western Iraq in 2014. That would leave some 4,000 U.S. troops to continue training the Iraqi military.
With ISIS almost defeated on the battlefield, the US -led anti-ISIS coalition has shifted its focus in Iraq from enabling the Iraqi military's combat operations to maintaining those gains as ISIS becomes an insurgency.
As Oil Price writes in the article Iraq Arrests ISIS Oil Chief Near Syrian Border, the Iraqi forces ambushed the convoy with which the top ISIS* terrorist-identified as Abdel-Ghani Zargham 'Abdel-Sama-was traveling through the town of Masada in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.
"Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last month in remarks outlining the strategy. The terrorist group swept through Iraq in 2014, and at its height controlled a third of Iraqi territory.
He told Reuters: "Coordination continues, to maintain (US) assistance to the Iraqi forces in accordance with their requirements".