In letter, US military tells Iraq it will withdraw

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The head of the USA military's Task Force Iraq, Brigadier General William Seely, sent a letter to the head of Iraq's joint operations command, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

On Monday, Iraqi premier Adel Abdel Mahdi met with the US Ambassador Matthew Tueller, telling him it was "necessary to work together to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq". And we'll continue to do all the things we need to do to keep America safe", Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday, "We'll have to take a look at what we do when the Iraqi leadership and government makes a decision", he said.

Withdrawing troops from Iraq at the country's request marks a major moment for the USA occupation. This is the USA component of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the official name of the American-led coalition fighting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

The letter, first shared by The Washington Post, has been confirmed to Newsweek as authentic by a senior Pentagon official. AFP could hear helicopters flying low over Baghdad throughout the night on Monday.

The vote came following outrage over U.S. airstrikes in Baghdad on Friday that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and top Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, among eight others.

The United States has no plans to pull out militarily from Iraq, Defence Secretary Mark Esper told Pentagon reporters on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of a US military letter about a withdrawal.

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CJTF-OIR stands for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

"In addition, we will conduct these operations during hours of darkness to help alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more Coalition Forces into the IZ".

On Jan. 5, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to hit Iraq with sanctions if it expelled American forces from the country.

"As we begin implementing this next phase of operations, I want to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership", Seely wrote.

The letter said there would be an increase in helicopter travel around the Green Zone and said, "We respect your sovereignty decision to order our departure".

"That letter is inconsistent of where we are right now".

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