Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari said the American troops are “transiting” in Iraq will depart the country within four weeks and will then head either to Kuwait, Qatar, or back to the United States.
Maj. Gen. Najah Hassan Ali al-Shammari was born in Baghdad in 1967. He was retired at his request in 2018. He was a leader in the Special Forces branch, and has held many military positions from 2003 until 2007.
The new defense minister graduated from the Military College in 1987 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in military sciences. He also obtained a master’s degree in strategic planning for national security. He also took many specialized military and security courses in Iraq, Jordan and America.
Shamari is a Sunni Arab and senior Iraqi military officer who was supported and nominated by Ayad Allawi, the former Prime Minister and vice-President of Iraq
[October 22 2019]
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said October 22 2019: “We will temporarily reposition in Iraq pursuant to bringing the troops home. And so it’s just one part of a continuing phase, but eventually those troops are going to come home.”
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“All U.S. forces that withdrew from Syria received approval to enter the Kurdistan Region so that they may be transported outside Iraq. There is no permission granted for these forces to stay inside Iraq,” the Iraqi military said.
[October 20 2019 Syria: reposition into Anbar Province ]
SEC. ESPER: The current game plan is for those forces to re-position into western Iraq to…
Q: All of them?
SEC. ESPER: Yeah, the ones coming out, right? That original 1,000. And then to — two missions, one is to help defend Iraq, and two is to perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps. And, again, that’s the current game plan. Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal. But that’s the game plan right now.
Q: Is there an agreement with the Iraqis on that?
SEC. ESPER: I’ve talked to the minister of defense from Iraq. And I will be having conversations, I’m sure, going forward. And we will nail down all the particulars.
Q: Just to be precise, Anbar province is to what you refer when you say “western Iraq”?
SEC. ESPER: I don’t know where. You would have to pull out a map. And I probably couldn’t give you that degree of specificity, so.
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– October 21, 2019
Source: United States Department of Defense