The United States and Iraq have agreed that US combat troops would leave the Arab country entirely before the end of 2011, according to US media reports early Friday.
The Washington Post, citing both US and Iraqi officials, reported that the two governments had settled on the 2011 date as part of a broad deal to replace a United Nations mandate for US forces that expires at the end of December. The withdrawal date is conditioned on security circumstances in Iraq at that time, reported dpa.
The New York Times posted its own report with similar details on its website.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Iraq Thursday, holding several hours of direct talks on the broader military agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Additional issues remain to be resolved in the talks, which have dragged on for several weeks longer than first planned, as the increasingly emboldened Iraqi government's has increasingly asserted itself with the United States.
The Post cited an Iraqi official as saying that a final deal was "very close."
Even after a 2011 withdrawal, tens of thousands of US troops would remain in Iraq in support tasks.