Qasem Soleimani: Confusion over US military withdrawal letter from Iraq

Defense Minister Mark Asper has denied reports of US troops withdrawing from Iraq.

However, a letter from a US general was confused as the letter said that US troops were leaving Iraq.

The letter also said, “The United States will have to change its position in the days ahead after Iraqi MPs call on Americans to leave Iraq.”

The confusion arises only after the assassination of Iranian commander Qasim Soleimani with the threat of American troops being targeted.

He was assassinated on Friday by President Donald Trump, which further heightened tensions in the region.

The Iranians have vowed to avenge the killing.
What was in the letter?

The letter appears to have been sent by Brigadier General William H. Seeley. He is the head of the US force in Iraq.

He sent the letter to Abdul Jameel, deputy director of the Joint Force in Iraq.

It said, “Sir, the sovereignty of Iraq and the request of the Parliament and the Iraqi Prime Minister will be re-organized as part of the Combined Joint Task Force in preparation for the movement in the days ahead.”

The letter says some steps will be taken in the ‘Darkness Hour’, including increasing air traffic to travel outside Iraq safely.

The letter also dispelled the notion that new coalition forces were being brought to the green zone in Baghdad.
How is it explained?

Mr Asper told reporters in Washington, “There has been no decision to leave Iraq. I do not know about the letter. We are trying to ascertain where it came from.”

“But no decision was made to leave Iraq”.

Later Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said the letter was a ‘mistake’.

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