US Moving Daesh to Afghanistan: Iranian Top General

Raisi tours the Israel Lebanon border

"2018 will be a critical year in adjusting coalition forces as it consolidates gains against Daesh and brings hope for a better future to the Iraqi people", it said using the Arabic acronym for IS.

This comes one year after the city of Baghdad declared victory over the Islamic State terrorist group.

"There is a coordination with the Iraqi government and the United States to gradually reduce the number of the USA troops in Iraq as victory has been achieved over IS group", spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told Xinhua via phone.

Western contractors at a US-led coalition base in Iraq say American troops have started to drawdown from the country following the defeat of ISIS.

An unnamed senior Iraqi official told the AP an initial agreement between Baghdad and Washington would see 60 percent of USA troops withdraw.

The troops were part of the US -led global coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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The White Banners fighters are believed to be drawn from Kurdish populations displaced from the regions of Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmato, in October, when Iraqi government forces and Iranian-backed Shi'ite paramilitary took over the area, according to Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst in Baghdad.

The U.S. first launched airstrikes against the Daesh terror group in Iraq in August 2014.

But the timely support by Iran helped Syria and Iraq fight off ISIS.

Another CENTCOM spokesman, Col. John Thomas, told VOA that while a "small number" of troops have shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, but the numbers of American forces in Iraq remain about the same.

Dozens of US soldiers have been transported from Iraq to Afghanistan on daily flights in the past week, along with weapons and equipment, the contractors said. The plan would leave a force of about 4,000 US troops to continue training the Iraqi military. "USA presence will be cause for internal polarization and a magnet for terrorists", Badr spokesman Kareem Nuri stated.

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