World News

Islamic State fighters fleeing Syria await orders for renewed battle

Islamic State fighters fleeing Syria await orders for renewed battle

They said USA soldiers, weapons and equipment were being transported out of Iraq and sent to Afghanistan.

Western contractors at a US -led coalition base in Iraq were the first to tell the AP on Monday that American troops had started to drawdown from the country.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Monday, Raad al-Dahlaki, head of a parliamentary committee on displaced civilians, said the Baghdad Operations Command will close a refugee camp in western Baghdad by mid-February.

"The American forces have begun reducing their numbers as victory has been achieved over Daesh", the spokesman told Reuters, referring to the Islamic State militant group.

Earlier Monday, The Associated Press and Reuters quoted an Iraqi government spokesman as saying USA forces were drawing down in the country following ISIS's defeat there.

A coalition spokesman declined to confirm or deny that the drawdown had begun.

He spoke as he and a handful of soldiers from his unit conducted equipment inventory checks required before leaving Iraq.

More news: Nuclear capable Agni-I missile test-fired off Odisha coast

The U.S. first launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq in August 2014.

The reported agreement comes three months ahead of Iraqi elections in which the presence of United States troops in the country is expected to be a divisive issue. The prime minister has stated that Iraq's military will need USA training for years to come.

"As we are crushing Daesh [IS], it is clear that there is a need to reduce the number of our allies who are helping us", he said.

But a spokesperson for the USA -led worldwide coalition wouldn't confirm or deny to either outlet that a drawdown is taking place.

Holding talks about various security issues, high- ranking officials from Iran, Russia, Iraq, and Syria met in Baghdad and underlined the importance of boosting cooperation between the four countries in the fight against Takfiri terrorist groups.

He said he recognized that the decision fell within the jurisdiction of the central government but that local officials in Anbar would have asked the U.S.to reconsider.

"We will sustain the successful momentum and enhance the capacities of the Iraqi Security Forces in pursuing Daesh, now and in the future", Braga said. In 2014, Daesh (IS) controlled almost a third of Iraqi territory.


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