US starts Iraq drawdown after defeat of Islamic State group

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AL-ASAD AIRBASE, Iraq (AP) - Western contractors at a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq say American troops have started to drawdown from the country following the defeat of the Islamic State group.

They say U.S. soldiers, weapons and equipment are being transported out of Iraq to Afghanistan.

The contractors say dozens of American soldiers have left on daily flights over the past week.

Two Iraqi officials tell The Associated Press the U.S.-led coalition has reached an agreement to draw down its troops in Iraq for the first time since the war against IS was launched over three years ago

An AP reporter at the base saw troop movements matching the officials' account.

The contractors and officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations and declined to reveal the exact size of the drawdown.

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