The US military on Monday told the Iraqi government that American troops were preparing to pull out of the country but a top US general in Washington said the message was sent by “mistake”.
The letter appeared to have been sent by Brig Gen William H Seely, head of the US military’s task force in Iraq, to Abdul Amir, the deputy director of Combined Joint Operations.
The letter says certain measures, including increased air traffic, will be conducted “during hours of darkness” to “ensure the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner”.
However Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has reiterated that the US troops were not leaving from Iraq.
There are just over 5,000 US troops in Iraq, part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which was set up in 2014 to tackle the Islamic State group. The main focus of the task force is to train and equip Iraqi forces.