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3 American combat units to leave Iraq by end of September: Military official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US soldiers stand at a site of Iranian bombing at the Ain al-Assad Airbase in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, Iraq, on January 13, 2020. (AP Photo)

An Iraqi military official says three American combat units are expected to leave major Iraqi military bases that host the United States’ forces in the Arab country, by the end of this month.

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command’s spokesman, Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji made the remarks to Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Tuesday.

He identified the bases in question as the Ain al-Assad Airbase in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar and al-Harir, another airbase located in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.

Khafaji said strategic negotiations that had taken place between Baghdad and Washington on the withdrawal of the American troops had played an instrumental role in the agreement that has mandated the forces’ pullout.

“The forces’ withdrawal will take place on the basis of the timetable that has been prepared,” the official noted.

‘All US troops scheduled to leave’

Iraq was no longer in need of any foreign military forces, he said, and announced that “the rest of the [American] units also had to leave by September 31, 2022.”

“Those too will leave Iraq based on the timetable that has been determined,” said the spokesman.

In January, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a law mandating the departure of all foreign forces from the country’s soil.

The vote came after a drone strike, ordered by former US president Donald Trump in Baghdad led to the martyrdom of senior Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, alongside their companions.

The commanders had played an indispensable role in the defeat of the Takfiri terrorist group that the US has been using as an excuse to prolong its occupation of Iraq.

Soon after the attack, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched volleys of ballistic missiles against the very military outposts, which the American forces are now scheduled to depart.

Iraqi resistance groups also markedly ramped up their attacks on the US’s interests in Iraq after the attacks to mount pressure on Washington to end the illegal presence.


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