US combat forces will vacate all Iraqi cities by the 30 June deadline set out in the US-Iraq security agreement, US officials in Baghdad have said.
The Iraq Assistance Group commander Army Brig. Gen. Keith Walker said that the security situation has improved in the country as the number of US forces in Iraq has declined by more than 20% from the height of the surge.
US forces will be out of the cities unless there is a specific invitation from the Iraqi government to remain, Walker said.
The forces will be available in advisory roles and to provide enabler capabilities.
Multi-National Corps Iraq, the tactical unit of Multi-National Force Iraq, will now take over the partnership duties from the Iraq Assistance Group.
It will manage the military and police transition teams, in addition to providing the training for Iraqi forces.
The US has handed over 100 bases to Iraq since October 2008.
More than 600,000 Iraqis serve in the country’s security forces.