Trump plans to withdraw more troops from Iraq

Troops will be reduced from 5,200 to 3,000 this month, top American commander for the Middle East says.

By

National News

September 9, 2020 - 9:25 AM

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo look on as President Donald Trump delivers a statement in response to Iran firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops, on Wednesday. (Pete Marovich/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is reducing its troop presence in Iraq this month from 5,200 to 3,000, the top American commander for the Middle East said Wednesday, as President Donald Trump tries to make good on his campaign promise to get America out of “endless wars.”

During a visit to Iraq, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the reduction in Iraq reflects the Trump administration’s confidence in the ability of U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces to handle the militant threat from the Islamic State group, which entered Iraq from Syria in 2014.

The move also comes as Trump faces criticism for allegedly denigrating American war dead as “losers” and “suckers.” He has denied the allegation, first reported by The Atlantic magazine last week, which surfaced at a time of heightened tension in his relationship with the military. Trump added to the perception of a growing split with Pentagon leaders when he said on Monday that they want to fight wars to boost the profits of defense companies.

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