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Trump To Announce U.S. Troop Withdrawals From Iraq, Afghanistan


Trump, shown here on August 27 accepting the Republican Party's nomination for a second term as U.S. president, is trailing in the polls behind Democratic rival Joe Biden.

U.S. President Donald Trump will announce further troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan in the next few days, a senior administration official said on September 8.

The official told reporters traveling with the president to expect an announcement on September 9 about Iraq and Afghanistan.

During a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi in August, Trump said U.S. troops would leave Iraq but gave no timetable.

The talks between the pair came with attacks on American targets by pro-Iranian fighters on the rise and the Iraqi government facing calls to expel the roughly 5,000 U.S. troops deployed in the country as part of anti-jihadist efforts.

The U.S. military withdrew from Iraq in late 2011, leaving a small mission attached to the U.S. Embassy.

But additional American forces were deployed a few years later to support Iraqi forces in their war against Islamic State, which carried out a devastating offensive in the summer of 2014.

In Afghanistan, the United States currently has 8,600 soldiers in accordance with a bilateral agreement signed in February between Washington and the Taliban.

The Pentagon said in August that its goal was to get down to fewer than 5,000 troops as inter-Afghan peace talks progress.

Trump previously mentioned in an interview with Axios that the White House aimed to reach 4,000 to 5,000 troops in Afghanistan by the November presidential election.

Under the U.S.-Taliban deal, all foreign troops must leave the country by the spring of 2021 in exchange for security commitments from the militants.

Trump, who is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls ahead of the November 3 election, has previously promised to bring troops home in a bid to end what he has called America's endless wars.

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