The US wants to reduce its troop strength in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 soldiers by the end of the month.

This was announced by the commander of the US Central Command in the Middle East, General Frank McKenzie, during a visit to the country.

The reduction in troop strength was also made possible by the "great progress made by the Iraqi security forces".

The move was made "in consultation and cooperation with the Iraqi government and our coalition partners," said McKenzie.

US President Donald Trump announced in August during a visit to Washington by the new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhemi that the US armed forces would leave Iraq.

"We have kept America out of new wars and are bringing our soldiers back home," he said at a campaign appearance on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"We spent hundreds of billions of dollars and what did we get for it," he asked, adding, referring to his Democratic challenger in the November presidential election, "Joe Biden voted for the Iraq war."

The reduction of the international US troop presence is one of the foreign policy priorities of US President Donald Trump and was one of his campaign promises in 2016.

According to a government official, Trump will also announce another withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan in the coming days. 


According to the US, around 7,500 coalition troops were stationed in Iraq at the end of 2018, including 5,200 US soldiers.

In Afghanistan, in turn, the US currently has around 8,600 soldiers.

The Pentagon announced in August that the number would be reduced to below 5,000 by the end of November.

If the peace process between the Taliban and the government is successful, the US intends to withdraw all soldiers from Afghanistan in the long term.

The federal government also wants to reduce the number of troops in Iraq.

According to a cabinet decision, the upper limit for German soldiers in the country will drop from 700 to 500. The Tornado reconnaissance aircraft had previously been withdrawn.

A complete withdrawal is not planned: "The military pressure on IS must be maintained," said Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).

It is the desire of the Iraqi government to further develop the training of its security forces through the NATO mission.