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REPORT: US Forces Preparing to Leave Iraq


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REPORT: US Forces Preparing to Leave Iraq

UPDATE: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is claiming that the rumors of withdrawal are false, but it may be in relation to troop movements which the clarification tweet points to.


BREAKING: @EsperDoD says memo on withdrawal is not accurate “there’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq.”

Esper adds that his staff is “trying to figure out” what memo is “there are no plans to leave” - may reflect repositioning, but not a withdrawal

In a letter from United States Marine Corps Brigadier General William H. Seely III, the commanding general of task force Iraq, to a top Iraqi defense official seems to indicate that troops would be moving out in deference to Iraq's sovereignty.

This seems to be in response to the Iraqi parliament voting for US forces to leave the country.

Part of the letter read:

"Sir, in deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement."

The General said he respects the sovereign decision to order the departure.

Although this has shown that the US military has the intention to move it does not say specifically when or how many troops, or even if it will happen to all of the US forces stationed there.

BREAKING: The US military sends a letter to the Iraqi military announcing the “onward movement” of US troops “in due deference to the sovereignty of Iraq & as requested by the Iraqi Parliament & the Iraqi PM”. It’s a withdrawal.View image on Twitter

Though the letter doesn’t bear a signature, the US military has confirmed its authenticity. Not clear yet whether it’s a full or partial withdrawal, but the reference to deference to the Iraqi parliament’s decision makes it seem pretty definitive.


The letter has been clarified by a coalition source as troops moving elsewhere in theater:

NEW: 100s of US-led forces are being moved out of a base in Baghdad’s Green Zone to elsewhere in Iraq, such as Taji base, & to Kuwait (but still in theatre of ops), a coalition source says, explaining letter below👇. It’s to “thin out” troops in Baghdad. “We’re not leaving Iraq”

Coalition source told me: “We are moving some people out of Baghdad for force protection reasons. We aren't leaving Iraq (or Baghdad, for that matter)”