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PM Abadi wants to reduce U.S.-led Coalition forces in Iraq


During a weekly press briefing held in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has unveiled a governmental plan to gradually reduce the number of forces of the international coalition working under the U.S.-led Coalition in Iraq. Although Iraq still needs the air force of the coalition, Saeed al-Jayyashi, security adviser to the Iraqi government, said that a security commission will be developed to rearrange the international coalition’s mission in Iraq from combat duties to the training and improvement of Iraqi security services. After the Iraqi announcement, Eric Pahon spokesman of the Pentagon said that U.S. troops were only shifting mission from combat to training, without plans for a sharp drawdown of troops. In related news, two Iranian-backed Shiite groups in Iraq have urged total withdrawal of U.S. forces in the country, while Badr organization, one of the biggest armed factions that is close to the government, stressed how the presence of U.S. troops in the country will be a source of instability. The Pentagon had said in December it was keeping nearly 5000 troops in Iraq.

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