US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has denied US troops are pulling out of Iraq. Mr Esper said this after a letter from a US general based in Iraq suggested a withdrawal. Qutoting Mr Esper, BBC reported that there had been no decision whatsoever to leave.
The confusion came amid threats to American forces after the US killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. Earlier, the head of the US military’s Task Force Iraq, Brigadier General William Seely, sent a letter to the head of Iraq’s joint operations command.
Quoting the letter newsagency AFP reported, forces from the US-led coalition in Iraq would be repositioning in the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement. Brigadier Seely wrote, coalition forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner. Some 5,200 US soldiers are stationed across Iraqi bases to support local troops preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State group.