US Defence Secretary Mark Esper denied the news that the US troops are leaving Iraq.
He denied after the US general issued a letter in which they recommended withdrawal.
The US would be “repositioning forces in coming days and weeks”, as written in the letter after Iraqi MPs had asked for them to leave.
Mark Esper said that no decision is taken to leave.
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According to the international news agency, head of the US military’s task force in Iraq Brig-Gen had sent the letter to Abdul Amir, the deputy director of Combined Joint Operations.
It was written in the letter, “Sir, in due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament, and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR (Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve) will be repositioning forces over the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.”
It was also said in the letter that certain measures, including increased air traffic, will be carried out “during hours of darkness” to “ensure the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.”
It would “alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more Coalition Forces into the IZ (Green Zone in Baghdad)” as well.
However, Mark Esper said to the local news source, “There’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq. I don’t know what that letter is… We’re trying to find out where that’s coming from, what that is.”
“But there’s no decision made to leave Iraq. Period.”
“The letter was sent over to some key Iraqi military guys to get things coordinated for air movements, etc. Then it went from that guy’s hands to another guy’s hands and then it went to your hands. Now it’s a kerfuffle.”
Given that there are over 5, 000 US troops in Iraq, part of the Combined Task Force.