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More than 60 percent of American troops left Iraq: PM Kadhimi

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says Baghdad has over the past months managed to expel more than 60 percent of American occupation forces amid unwavering calls for the pullout of foreign troops from the country.

The Iraqi premier made the announcement in an interview with the official IRNA news agency on Friday, saying the government in Baghdad held three rounds of strategic talks with the United States over the past year and former President Donald Trump promised in the second round of negotiations to withdraw US troops from the Arab country.

“Before the third round of talks, we managed to reduce the number of US troops in Iraq by more than 60 percent, and a technical committee will soon begin setting a timetable for the remaining US troops,” Kadhimi told IRNA.

The Iraqi prime minister also hailed “great security cooperation” with the Islamic Republic and said Baghdad had managed to foil some of the attacks by terrorist groups against Iran through such coordination and pre-emptive operations.

In early 2003, the US invaded Iraq under the later debunked pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

It withdrew soldiers from Iraq between 2007 and 2011, but redeployed them in 2014 along with other partners to allegedly counter the threat from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

Since then, Washington has been fabricating scenarios to prolong its presence in the country in defiance of the parliamentary resolution.

Baghdad and Washington have in recent months held several rounds of strategic talks on the pullout.

All resistance factions in Iraq agreed in October 2020 to suspend attacks on US occupation forces provided that the government presents a timetable for their withdrawal.

They called on the government to implement the January 5, 2020 parliamentary resolution that demands the expulsion of all foreign military forces led by the United States.

The resolution came two days after the US assassinated Iran’s legendary anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in a drone strike authorized by Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

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