U.S. official denies pullout of combat troops out of Iraq accomplished: Iraq TV
An U.S. official from the Defense Ministry has denied that the U.S. combat troops have completed withdrawal from Iraq, the official Iraqia television reported Thursday.
"What happened was a reorganization for these troops as some 4, 000 soldiers had been pulled out and the rest of the combat troops (will leave) at the end of this month," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell was quoted as saying, Xinhua reported.
His comments came after some U.S. media said earlier that the last brigade from the combat troops has left Iraq Thursday morning two weeks before the deadline of Aug. 31.
NBC news TV footage showed a U.S. military convoy from the 4th Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division crossing the Iraq- Kuwait border. The last vehicle traversed the border at about 3:53 a.m. Thursday local time (0053 GMT) and the border gate closed behind it.
The 4th Stryker Brigade reportedly has about 4,000 troops. CNN said after it leaves Iraq, there would be two other combat brigade inside Iraq, but they are in a transition process to become non- combat units, and would take on responsibilities of training Iraqi troops.
U.S. President Barack Obama has set the end of August as the deadline to end combat operations in Iraq. Washington said that about 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq to conduct support and training missions.