US Defense Secretary Esper says no decision to leave Iraq

AP:

Top Pentagon leaders said Monday that the United States has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, despite a draft letter from a senior military officer that appeared to suggest plans for withdrawal were underway.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the U.S. is “moving forces around” Iraq and neighboring Kuwait. He said a draft letter circulated internally by a U.S. Marine commander was a “poorly written” honest mistake that should never have gotten out.

The draft letter appeared to suggest the U.S. was preparing to pull troops out of Iraq in response to a vote by the Iraqi Parliament over the weekend. The draft said troops would be “repositioning over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.” and warned of an increase in helicopter travel around the Green Zone. It added, “We respect your sovereignty decision to order our departure.”

More from the AP


Advertisements