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‘Not leaving Iraq!’ Pentagon clarifies ‘poorly worded’ US withdrawal plan sent by ‘mistake’

Complete confusion reigned at the Pentagon after the publication of a letter about withdrawal from Iraq, with the top general describing it as a “mistake” and the Defense Secretary arguing there were no plans for the US pullout.

“There’s been no decision to leave Iraq. Period,” Secretary Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. He was referring to the reports that the head of Combined Joint Task Force Iraq, General William H. Seely III, had informed the Iraqi government of preparations to reposition the coalition forces “in due deference to the sovereignty” of Iraq.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that the letter Seely had sent was only a draft and that releasing it was a “mistake.” The Iraqi military confirmed receiving it, however.