Issued on: 06/01/2020 – 21:39Modified: 06/01/2020 – 21:39

The US military informed its counterparts in Baghdad on Monday it was preparing for “movement out of Iraq,” a day after the Iraqi parliament urged the government to oust foreign troops.

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The head of the US militarys Task Force Iraq, Brigadier General William Seely, sent a letter to the head of Iraqs joint operations command, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

The letter said forces from the US-led coalition in Iraq would “be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement”.

“In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner,” said the letter, dated Monday.

As the letter was signed by a US official, it was not immediately clear whether it applied to forces from the 76 countries which make up the international coalition.

BREAKING: The US military sends a letter to the Iraqi military announcing the “onward movement” of US troops “in due deference to the sovereignty of Iraq & as requested by the Iraqi Parliament & the Iraqi PM”. Its a withdrawal. pic.twitter.com/tQHSsHTtez

— Liz Sly (@LizSly) January 6, 2020

A US defence official and an Iraqi defence official confirmed the letter was real and had been delivered.

It said helicopters would be travelling in and around the Green Zone as part of the preparations.

AFP could hear helicopters flying low over Baghdad throughout the night on Monday.

Some 5,200 US soldiers are stationed across Iraqi bases to support local troops preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

They make up the bulk of the broader coalition, invited by theRead More – Source

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