The Pentagon is expected to reduce U.S. troop force in Iraq by roughly one-third over the next couple of months, U.S. officials said on Friday.
The United States currently has 5,200 American troops deployed in Iraq to fend off the Islamic State militant group.
The one-third reduction will leave approximately 3,500 troops overseas, bringing the American force levels back to where they were in 2015 when the U.S. was in the beginning stages of its battle against the Islamic State.
While the Pentagon has long-sought to reduce its presence in the Middle East and shift its focus to China, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi warns of the clusters of Islamic State fighters still active in Iraq and bordering countries.
"ISIS sleeper cells are still operating in Iraq," the Iraqi prime minister said. "The threat is still there."
Both countries want to avoid a repeat of 2011, when the withdrawal of the entire United States force led to a security breach exploited by the Islamic State.