Pentagon Offers Iraq a Partial Military Pullout

Iraqi officials told US prepared to discuss withdrawal

In January, the Iraqi parliament voted 170-0 for the government to seek a full pullout of all foreign troops. President Trump reacted with threats, and while Iraq’s former PM had backed away, the matter of US presence is still an issue. But weeks later, things may be changing.

Over the past week, the Pentagon has talked with senior Iraqi officials, telling them they are prepared to discuss withdrawal in some form. The US has even offered a plan for a partial pullback of troops from some parts of Iraq.

The position right now is that the US is willing to leave certain Shi’ite majority areas, and cut down the number of troops in Baghdad. The US had ruled out leaving Ayn al-Assad air base, calling that a “red line.”

That is a major shift, as previously the US position was that they would not consider any specific cuts, and rather would engage in wholesale renegotiation of all US-Iraqi ties going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.