Under the Status of Forces Agreement signed between the two countries in 2008, the US is committed to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
However, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he is open to the idea of keeping American troops in Iraq beyond that deadline if Iraq asks for it.
The US announced in August that it ended its combat troops in Iraq.
Washington withdrew its forces from the Iraqi soil after seven years of military presence in the country, but left some 50,000 US troops for what it calls “training and advising” purposes.
The top US military official arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad earlier in the day in an unannounced visit to the American troops in Iraq.Back to top button
The US, under the administration of former President George W. Bush, attacked Iraq in 2003 under the pretext that the country was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
However, later it was revealed that not only former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was not in possession of WMDs but also that US and UK leaders knew about the non-existence of such weapons.