(CNN) — The United States will withdraw almost all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year, as a current agreement with Iraq dictates, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.
Only about 150 troops, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales.
The United States had expected that some of the roughly 40,000 Americans in Iraq would remain there to aid in training and security.
But the two nations were unable to reach a deal on a key issue regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops, a senior U.S. military official with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN this month.
The United States wanted to retain immunity but the Iraqis refused to agree to that, opening up the prospect of Americans being tried in Iraqi courts and subjected to Iraqi punishment.
The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks’ release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as initially reported by the U.S. military. Source
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