US reduces number of military contingent at two bases in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Agencies): The US will reduce its contingent at two military bases in Iraq by the end of September this year. The decision was made during a meeting of the joint committee on September 16, which also considered the transfer of US troops to the position of instructors and advisers. The negotiating delegations were led by Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Lieut-enant General Abdul Amir al-Shammari and the head of the coalition forces, Ma-jor General John Brennan.

According to the agreement, the reduction will affect the bases in Anbar province and near the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. The remaining insignificant number of servicemen will train units of the national armed forces of the republic, as well as provide assistance in intelligence and planning of operations. The procedure for transferring US troops to a “non-combat” position is planned to be developed during further meetings. At the same time, the parties to the negotiations confirmed that the presence of a foreign military contingent in the republic was justified by the invitation of the Iraqi government.

A preliminary agreement on the withdrawal of foreign troops was reached in July during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi to Washington to meet with US President Joe Biden. According to the plan, this process was to be completed by December 31 of this year.

At the moment, there are 2,500 American soldiers and about 3,000 servicemen from other countries on the territory of the republic. They were introduced into Iraq at the beginning of the 2000s during the invasion of the United States and its allies to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, and subsequently took part in the fight against terrorists by the “Islamic State”.

Despite the demands of a significant part of the Iraqi population to reduce the number of coalition troops, many experts fear a repeat of the situation in Afgh-anistan, which came under the control of the Taliban even before the last American soldiers left the country completely. These fears are supported by the recent frequent attacks and attacks by sleeping IS cells, which still have supporters among the population and can mobilize their forces after the withdrawal of the United States and its allies. Since the Americans did not invest in the real development of the Iraqi troops, their combat effectiveness remains a big question.

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