An American general in charge of US forces in Iraq reportedly wrote a memo to his Iraqi counterpart, claiming that the US would be packing up and leaving the country.
However, the United States claims the letter may not even be real, or may even be an unofficial “draft” sent by mistake.
The document was unsigned but reported to be addressed to Combined Joint Operations Baghdad Deputy Director Abdul Amir from USMC Brigadier General William H. Seely, III. In the memo, it was noted that the US would be increasing air traffic in the area.
Interestingly enough, the document was also reportedly translated in Arabic, leading many to wonder if the second copy is either a fake or a premature release.
According to the CNBC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters that the memo was only a draft that should never have been released.
A Pentagon official also noted that it was unsurprising that Seely was working on a draft of the letter, and that the release of an unsigned memo is a good indication that it was never meant for release.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump said that troops would not leave Iraq unless the country paid the USA for the costs of building and maintaining military facilities there, and that any attempt at eviction would result in sanctions and other unpleasantries.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before, ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he said.