The letter said there would be an increase in helicopter travel around the Green Zone and said, "We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure", adding that the operations would take place at night to avoid disrupting the Iraqi public and avoid the perception that troops were being added, not withdrawn.
Iranian state television reported that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, "struck the U.S. air base at Ain al-Asad in Iraq with dozens of missiles." according to state television.
During a phone conversation with Stoltenberg, Abdel-Mahdi insisted on "the position of the Iraqi government and Parliament on the presence of foreign forces and their withdrawal from Iraq, and of maintaining their sovereignty", the office of the prime minister said in a statement.
"It was poorly worded [and] implied a withdrawal", Milley said of the letter. Abdul-Mahdi says the only problem they had was that the English and Arabic versions were not identical and they want clarification of which was right.
The assassination of Soleimani drove already simmering US-Iran tensions to boiling point.
That was when I was a civilian I said it, but we were there and they made a decision and I disagreed with that decision very strongly, Mr.Trump said.
Oil prices spike amid tensions escalate between U.S. and Iran after Tehran fires missiles at Iraq base hosing United States troops.
Iran Fires Missile Targeting American Troops in Iraq
Iranian state television said 80 "American terrorists" had been killed and U.S. helicopters and military equipment damaged. The attack comes days after Washington assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani .
"We have to do it (fight against ISIS) with Iraq".
The authenticity of the letter, which was addressed to the Iraqi Defence Ministry's Combined Joint Operations Baghdad, was confirmed independently by an Iraqi military source. US officials say there is a repositioning of forces for purposes of force protection.
Adding to the confusion, the Daily Mail reported that the letter had been translated into Arabic, though it was unclear if the translated letter was legit.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced on Monday that some forces are being repositioned inside Iraq, not leaving the country.
Iranian state television said Iran had fired 15 missiles at US targets in Iraq early on Wednesday.
A letter from William H Seely III, the commander of the United States task force in Iraq, to his Iraqi counterpart dated Monday said the US-led coalition "will reposition forces over the next few days and weeks to prepare for the forward movement". The other thing is, if we do get out, we've spent a tremendous amount of money on building airports and building one of the largest embassies we have in the world.
Acting prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the document "was clear" and expressed exasperation with conflicting USA signals. However the story became much more confusing after it was THEN reported the letter was legitimate, but it was a draft letter that was not supposed to be sent out at all.