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Iraq confirms drawdown of US forces under way

The US first launched air strikes against Islamic State in August 2014.

An Iraqi government spokesman has confirmed that the drawdown of American forces from Iraq has begun following Baghdad’s declaration of victory over Islamic State (IS).

Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said: “The battle against Daesh (IS) has ended and so the level of the American presence will be reduced.”

Mr Al-Hadithi stressed the drawdown is still in its early stages and at present does not mark the beginning of a complete withdrawal of US forces.

The US first launched air strikes against IS in Iraq in August 2014 and in the following years closely backed key Iraqi military victories, including the retaking of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

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