United States to move troops in Iraq - Letter from U.S. in full

07 Janvier, 2020, 00:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • United States to move troops in Iraq - Letter from U.S. in full

The US military has informed its counterparts in Baghdad it was preparing for "movement out of Iraq", AFP and Reuters news agencies reported.

Last week, US forces assassinated Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike near the Baghdad airport.

Update - 4:09 P.M.: Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday disputed a letter indicating the USA -led military coalition against ISIS will leave Iraq, stating there is "no decision whatsoever to leave" the country.

The United States has no plans to pull American troops out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of a USA military letter informing Iraq officials about the repositioning of troops in preparation to leave the country.

The United States has no plans to pull out militarily from Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Pentagon reporters on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of a US military letter about a withdrawal.

President Donald Trump had earlier threatened sanctions against Iraq if the 5,000 USA troops were forced to go.

But Mr Esper said: "There's been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq".

There are, however, concerns that a pullout of the estimated 5,200 USA troops could cripple the fight against ISIS and allow its resurgence. This increased traffic will include CH-47, UP-I-60, and AH-64 security escort helicopters.

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Mr Esper said there had been "no decision whatsoever to leave".

During this time, there will be an increase in helicopter travel in and around the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad [the Green Zone].

"As we begin implementing this next phase of operations, I want to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership", Seely wrote.

'We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure, ' the letter said.

The Iraqi resolution specifically calls for ending an agreement in which Washington sent troops to Iraq more than four years ago to help in the fight against the Islamic State group.

"That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released", said Milley, adding the letter was, "poorly worded, implies withdrawal, that is not what's happening". However, there are also reports that versions were sent to Iraqi authorities.

United States forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, only to return in 2014 at the invitation of the government to help battle IS.

Coalition Forces will take appropriate measures to minimize and mitigate the disturbance to the public.

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