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Iraqi PM: there is plan for US forces' withdrawal

BAGHDAD, Feb 6 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said Tuesday there was a plan for a gradual reduction of American forces in Iraq, on condition it would not create military vacuum on the ground.
Threat of terrorism still exist in Iraq because there were some pockets of so-called Islamic State (IS) in neighboring Syria, Abadi told a news conference.
The IS in Syria is recruiting terrorists to attack Iraq and the entire region, he said.
"Therefore, Iraq needs an international air cover to monitor the desert and borders," he said. "We need them (the international coalition) and they need us because terrorism threatens the whole world," he added.
Abadi did not provide details about the withdrawal of the US forces.
Iraqi government spokesman Saad Hudaithi announced yesterday that the US forces began gradual withdrawal and their support would change from military to security assistance. (end) ahh.bs