U.S. Government Plans to Reduce Number of Troops in Iraq by Nearly Half This Month
The US Central Command has recently announced they will be withdrawing roughly half of their troops from their current deployment in Iraq.
According to a statement that was issued by Central Command’s General Frank McKenzie last week, the US plans to reduce its military presence from 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September.
“Moving forward, we must continue our D-ISIS [defeat ISIS] work together with our partners in Iraq and Syria,” said McKenzie, who commands the US military presence in the Middle East. “We are continuing to expand on our partner capacity programs that enable Iraqi forces and allow us to reduce our footprint in Iraq.
“This reduced footprint allows us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq and ensuring its enduring defeat. This decision is due to our confidence in the Iraqi Security Forces’ increased ability to operate independently.”
It has been 13 years since the US military reached its peak number of active troops in Iraq with 170,000 deployed service members in 2007.
According to NPR, American military presence in Iraq has remained largely steady for the last four years, although the US reportedly began withdrawing troops from Iraqi bases in January.
The news outlet goes on to report that Central Command is also planning to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan from 6,500 troops to 4,000.