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Photo: Lucas Jackson-Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. will withdraw 2,200 troops from Iraq by the end of September, bringing troop levels in the country down to 3,000, confirmed Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command.

The big picture: The move is in line with President Trump's campaign promise to pare back America's involvement in the Middle East. The president has reduced the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

  • At the height of the Iraq War, there were over 150,000 service members stationed in Iraq, according to the Times.
  • The number of troops in Iraq after the pullback will be at about the same level as in 2015, when the U.S. was in the early stages of its campaign against the Islamic State.

Driving the news: The announcement comes days after Trump accused Pentagon leadership of waging war in order to keep defense contractors “happy,” as he was denying reports that he insulted fallen service members.

What they're saying: “This reduced footprint allows us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq and ensuring its enduring defeat,” General McKenzie said.

  • “This decision is due to our confidence in the Iraqi security forces’ increased ability to operate independently."

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - Podcasts

11th hour troop withdrawals

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it would withdraw around 2,000 troops from Afghanistan by mid-January. This comes after President Trump’s Pentagon reshuffle last week — when he fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and a few other officials.

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

2 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.