AP reported Obama’s plan for Iraq troop withdrawal six days ago

Dylan Stableford

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq by the end of the year. But the news was actually first reported on Saturday, Oct. 15, by the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The U.S. is abandoning plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline, The Associated Press has learned. The decision to pull out fully by January will effectively end more than eight years of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, despite ongoing concerns about its security forces and the potential for instability.

At the time, the report--by Lara Jakes and Rebecca Santana--was denied by the White House and the Pentagon:

A Pentagon spokesman said Saturday that no final decision has been reached about the U.S. training relationship with the Iraqi government.

[...]

A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said discussions with Iraq about the security relationship between the two countries next year were ongoing.

But:

A senior Obama administration official in Washington confirmed Saturday that all American troops will leave Iraq except for about 160 active-duty soldiers attached to the U.S. Embassy.

A senior U.S. military official confirmed the departure and said the withdrawal could allow future but limited U.S. military training missions in Iraq if requested.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

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