An Iraqi government spokesman confirmed Monday that the U.S. has begun pulling out its forces, following Bagdad's declaration of victory over Daesh (ISIS) in December. An unnamed senior Iraqi official told the AP an initial agreement between Baghdad and Washington would see 60 percent of us troops withdraw.
U.S. Army soldiers stands next to a guided-missile launcher, a few miles from the frontline, in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq.
US Administration has silently begun withdrawing its forces along with arms and equipment from Iraq and deploying them in Afghanistan, AFP reports quoting western contractors at a US-led coalition base in western Iraq.
The contractors and officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations and declined to reveal the exact size of the drawdown.
An anonymous senior official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told AP that the us troop withdrawal is expected to reach 60 percent of all American forces, leaving behind about 4,000 troops to continue training their Iraqi counterparts.
Several western contractors have also confirmed the withdrawal of USA troops.
The US first launched airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq in August 2014 and in the following years closely backed key Iraqi military victories, including the retaking of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.
The drawdown will be the first reduction in American troops in Iraq since the fight against ISIS started three years ago.
The US combat mission in Iraq ended in 2010 but some American troops remained in the country to train and assist Iraqi forces. Iraq was the first country in United States military history where they were forced to withdraw in accordance to the initial agreement for the forces withdrawal from that country.
"The Coalition will tailor our forces in consultation with our Iraqi partners in order to ensure the lasting defeat of Daesh", said Brig. USA troop numbers eventually reduced to 40,000 before the complete withdrawal in 2011.