U.S. forces have left Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq

December 20, 2021 - 21:25

TEHRAN — Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, head of the Joint Operations Command of the Iraqi army, announced on Monday that the United States military combat forces have withdrawn from Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq.

Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji added that the American troops have completely withdrawn from the Ain al-Assad base and only advisory forces have remained, according to Sputnik.

He noted that an Iraqi security delegation will enter the Al-Harir base in Erbil province in northeastern Iraq to accompany the U.S. troops to withdraw from the base in the coming days.

The general stressed that the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq will be officially announced on December 31.

On Saturday, Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said Ain al-Assad base in Al Anbar province, which was occupied by U.S. terrorist forces, is now under the control of the Iraqi army.

Many of the headquarters at the base are completely evacuated from foreign troops, and some headquarters are used to deliver logistical equipment to Iraqi forces, including weapons, vehicles, and equipment to assist Iraqi forces remain on their mission, according to Rasool.

However, the number of troops that have withdrawn from the base and the remaining forces are still unclear, and the Iraqi authorities refuse to make it clear.

The development comes as Robert McGurk, the CENTCOM chief, had said that no U.S. force was going to leave Iraq, adding that only the role of the forces would change from combat to training and advising.

Iraqi resistance groups have also stated that the presence of American forces under any name in the country is equal to occupation and there is no difference between combat forces and advisers, asking for a full withdrawal of the U.S. troops. 

On December 9, the U.S. formally ended its combat operations in Iraq, according to the Pentagon. 

Only a few thousand members of the U.S. military remain to support and train Iraqi security forces, according to Mission News Network.

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