US forces begin reducing numbers in Iraq – Baghdad

US forces have begun reducing their numbers in Iraq after Baghdad declared “victory” over Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), an Iraqi government spokesman said on Monday. Iraqi forces backed by a US-led international coalition last year captured all the territory that fell under IS control in 2014 and 2015. “The American forces have begun reducing their numbers,” the spokesman told Reuters. “Coordination continues, to maintain [US] assistance to the Iraqi forces in accordance with their requirements.” The US had more than 5,500 troops in Iraq at the height of the battle in Mosul in July 2017, making up about half the total force deployed by the coalition in the country.