An Iraqi government spokesman announced on Monday that because of the Iraq “victory” over ISIS, US ground troops have begun withdrawing from the country, as part of a substantial drawdown.
The spokesman said that coordination with the US will be continuing, and US officials have long suggested their presence in Iraq is “permanent,” suggesting any drawdown would be limited.
Not that we’re likely to be told about it. The US issued a statement saying that they refuse to either confirm or deny any changes to troop levels, and that they would issue a statement only if forces were entirely moving out of a theater of operations.
Yet the Pentagon doesn’t even give us figures on troop levels in Iraq anymore, so large numbers of troops could likely be withdrawn and there’d still be enough troops in Iraq as to be in excess of the latest published troop levels.
The entire narrative of ISIS having been defeated might not be something the Pentagon wants to emphasize either, as it is liable to harm the justification of them keeping troops in Iraq forever.