07 February, 2018
In the announcement, Mattis said the U.S.' new focus would be on rising powers like China and Russian Federation as opposed to terrorism.
US Administration has silently begun withdrawing its forces along with arms and equipment from Iraq and deploying them in Afghanistan, AFP reports quoting western contractors at a US-led coalition base in western Iraq.
An anonymous senior official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told AP that the us troop withdrawal is expected to reach 60 percent of all American forces, leaving behind about 4,000 troops to continue training their Iraqi counterparts.
Al-Hadithi spoke just hours after AP reported the American drawdown - the first since the war against IS was launched over three years ago.
He told Reuters: "Coordination continues, to maintain (US) assistance to the Iraqi forces in accordance with their requirements".More news: A cold day with sunshine Saturday
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
A Pentagon report in December stated that there were 8,892 USA troops in the country.
The U.S. first launched airstrikes against the Daesh terror group in Iraq in August 2014.
Despite that information, the US military cites the official number of USA troops in Iraq as approximately 5,262.
One of the United States soldiers at Ain Assad Airbase, was quoted saying as, "We've had a recent change of mission and soon we'll be supporting a different theatre of operations in the coming month". He declined to say where his unit was being redeployed.
"We are serious about getting the Americans out, using the force of arms because the Americans don't understand any other language", its spokesman Jaafar al-Husseini said, reiterating the group's threats, broadcast on Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV on February 5.