On August 7, the US-led coalition announced that it had withdrawn an Over The Horizon (OTH) force that was deployed in Iraq on a protection mission.
The OTH force consists of two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and an infantry company, prepared to carry out operations on a short notice.
In a statement, Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, said that the force had withdrawn from Iraq to its home base in neighboring Kuwait.
The OTH responds on short notice when needed in the @CENTCOM CJOA to support ground personnel, recovery operations, conduct air assaults & assist in overall force protection missions. The retrograded forces included infantry & aviation units from the Iowa, MN & LA National Guard. pic.twitter.com/9494DytSWf
— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) August 7, 2021
The decision to withdraw the OTH force back to Kuwait was most likely a part of Washington’s efforts to rebrand its military presence in Iraq as a “training mission” for local government forces. The withdrawal of this small force will not affect the capabilities of American troops in the country.
Washington is determined to maintain a large military presence in Iraq. Around 2,500 American troops are present in the country today.
Pro-Iranian Iraqi forces, which have been attacking US-led coalition bases and supply convoys for more than a year now, will not be fooled by Washington’s moves. In fact, the withdrawal of the OTH force will likely boost the morale of these forces.
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