President Trump just told the Iraqi military we are pulling out of Iraq. In a stunning letter, the Department of Defense told the Iraqi’s we will withdraw from Iraq out of respect for the nation’s sovereignty.
The Iraqi parliament took a non-binding vote to ask us to leave which may or may not play a role here.
Trump has long sought a way out of the Middle East and after the bold strike on Iran, he may have finally found it.
Reuters, the AFP, and a reporter for the Washington Post’s Baghdad Bureau have all confirmed this story.
The letter says we are re-positioning forces so we don’t know exactly what that means.
The United States-led military coalition against Islamic State said on Monday that it was pulling out of Iraq and would be repositioning forces over the next few days and weeks, a letter seen by Reuters showed.
“Sir, in deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” read a letter from United States Marine Corps Brigadier General William H. Seely III, the commanding general of Task Force Iraq.
The authenticity of the letter, which was addressed to the Iraqi defense ministry’s Combined Joint Operations Baghdad, was confirmed to Reuters independently by an Iraqi military source.
From the Agence France-Presse:
The US military informed its counterparts in Baghdad on Monday (Jan 6) it was preparing for “movement out of Iraq,” a day after the Iraqi parliament urged the government oust foreign troops.
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, a copy of which was seen by AFP.
The letter said troops would “be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.”
A US defence official and an Iraqi defence official confirmed the letter was real and had been delivered.
Update: Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley clarified the letter that was sent to the Iraqi military:
“That letter is a draft. It was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released … it was poorly worded, implies withdrawal, that is not what’s happening,” Milley said.
“It’s an honest mistake. it should not have been sent.”
MORE: The U.S.-led coalition said that it would withdraw from Iraq according to a letter seen by @Reuters. It also said that it would be repositioning forces over the next few days and weeks https://t.co/kX3TMFqrsd pic.twitter.com/vsZ70EyaoD— Reuters (@Reuters) January 6, 2020