8,000 US troops remain in Iraq
US military forces leaving Iraq (file photo)
Some 8,000 US troops have remained in Iraq despite Washington's plan for the complete withdrawal of US forces by the turn of 2011, Press TV reports.
The troops, along with 14 warplanes, 125 helicopters and 28 drones, are mainly based in Iraq's Kurdistan region in the north.
The US troops have been stationed in Jordan and some Persian Gulf Arab countries as well as some new locations in Kuwait after leaving Iraq while a small number of them have returned to the United States, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The last US military base was handed over to Iraqi officials on December 16. However, Washington is reportedly seeking to pose threats against Iran by maintaining its troops' presence in Iraq's Kurdistan.
According to the report, a delegation of US military and security officials met with leaders of the anti-Iranian group of Komala at its headquarters in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah. The delegation was headed by an American general working for the US Consulate in Kurdistan's capital Arbil.
US military officials have also held meetings with leaders of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist group with the aim of stirring up violence and terrorist operations.
The PKK launched an armed campaign against Turkey in 1984 in a quest to force an independent Kurdish state in the southeast of the country.