Zerohedge has a longish account: US Army Tells Iraq It Is Preparing To "Move Out" Out Of "Respect For Sovereignty". The obvious question, based on the letter from Brigadier General Seekly to the Iraqi DoD, is: Is this a complete withdrawal or partial? Here's the letter:
sLTG Abdul Amir
Deputy Director, Combined Joint Operations Baghdad Iraq - Ministry of Defense
Sir, in due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.
In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.
During this time, there will be an increase in helicopter travel in and around the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad. This increased traffic will include CH47, VH-00, and AH-64 security escort helicopters.
Coalition Forces will take appropriate measures to minimize and mitigate the disturbance to the public. In addition, we will conduct these operations during hours of darkness to help alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more Coalition Forces into the IZ.
As we begin implementing this next phase of operations, I wish to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership. We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.
WILLIAM H. SEEKLY III
Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding General, TF-Iraq
It sure sounds to me like a complete withdrawal. We'll see how it develops.
Meanwhile, as Zerohedge puts it:
The decision to withdraw begs the question: Was Trump playing 5-D chess after all?
It also appears to answer Pat Lang's question that I quoted this morning:
Refreshing, and maybe another lesson in never misunderestimating Trump.