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US Links Withdrawal of Troops in Iraq to ISIS Defeat


Asharq Al-Awsat


Baghdad – Gabriel Soma, a member of the advisory board to US President Donald Trump, said that the deployment of US troops in Iraq is temporary, linking their presence to the threat of ISIS.
Soma, in a press release on Saturday, said that President Trump always affirms that the US will get out of Iraq and expresses his desire to withdraw troops from both Iraq and Syria.
“Our presence in Iraq is temporary and with the end of ISIS, we will withdraw,” he said, pointing out that US forces were present at 12 bases and have withdrawn from nine.
“What threatens Iraq today is ISIS and major Iranian influence,” he noted, adding that ISIS has some 10,000 fighters, most of whom are based in Iraq.
Soma's comments come one day after the end of the first round of the American-Iraqi dialogue, during which it was confirmed that Washington wishes to withdraw their forces from Iraq, but without setting a timeframe.
US and Iraq officials have agreed to reduce the number of American troops in the country in the coming months but, following resumption of dialogue, fell short of providing a timeframe.
The decision was announced on Thursday following the long-anticipated talks, the first strategic dialogue between the two countries in a decade.
Several Iraqi parties have voiced their desire to establish balanced relations with the US that are based on common interests, including a review of the Strategic Framework Agreement signed in 2008.
Iraqi parties, however, still link development on other tracks with Washington to its seriousness in withdrawing its forces from their country.

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