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US forces begin withdrawing from Iraq

US forces in Erbil, Iraq on 10 November 2020 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]
US forces in Erbil, Iraq on 10 November 2020 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi army yesterday announced that the US forces placed to combat diplomatic missions had begun to withdraw from the country.

The army spokesman, Yahya Rasoul, told the official Iraqi News Agency that there was an "ongoing effort to complete the entire withdrawal process by December 31."

"The withdrawal is taking place according to the plan developed by the Joint Operations Command and in coordination with the international coalition, which includes the stay of advisers to provide advice on many issues by exchanging intelligence information, training, arming and equipping," Rasoul said.

The official pointed out that there would be"coordination in the delivery of equipment, combat vehicles and weapons to the Iraqi armed forces, as well as the use of international coalition aircraft to target Daesh gangs in several areas."

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Baghdad and Washington agreed in July, in the fourth and final round of the strategic dialogue, to withdraw all US combat forces from Iraq by the end of the current year.

Since 2014, Washington has been leading an international military coalition to combat Daesh in Iraq, which captured almost a third of the country. The coalition was reported to have deployed around 3,000 soldiers, 2,500 of whom were Americans.

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