More than 25 per cent of foreign troops, most of which were American, have pulled out of Iraq in 2018, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said this week.
Abdul-Mahdi’s statement come a month after the US announced that it would withdraw its troops from Syria and use Iraq as “base” when necessary.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday night, Abdul-Mahdi said that “in January 2018 there were about 11,000 foreign troops in Iraq, 70 percent of which were American”. Yet “in December of the same year, the total number of foreign troops has dropped to 8,000, including 6,000 Americans,” he added.
Iraq claimed victory over Daesh at the end of 2017, after three years of fighting with the support of an international coalition led by Washington. Other groups continue to carry out attacks in different parts of Iraq, while Daesh continues to be active in limited mountainous areas near the border with Syria.
US troops returned to Iraq in 2014 as part of an international coalition against Daesh, which at that time controlled large areas in Iraq and Syria.
During a surprise visit to Iraq to inspect US troops in December, US President Donald Trump said that he had no plans to withdraw US troops from Iraq. Trump explained that Iraq could be used as a base to launch attacks against Daesh in Syria.