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White House Denies Report of Major Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

POLITICO reports that the White House is denying a Fox News story that ran this afternoon reporting that the president was preparing to announce a major troops withdrawal from Iraq.

"Asked whether the report was accurate, White House press secretary Jay Carney responded at his press briefing Tuesday afternoon with a flat 'no.'

'We want a normal, productive, healthy relationship with Iraq,' he said. 'If the Iraqi government makes a request of us, we will certainly consider it.

But for the time being, Carney added, the two countries are continuing to operate "under existing agreements."

Earlier today the Blaze relayed the Fox News report that the number of U.S. troops in Iraq would decline to only 3,000 by the end of the year.

Under a 2008 security agreement between Washington and Baghdad, all U.S. troops are slated to leave by Dec. 31, 2011. However, Continued instability and fear of growing Iranian influence in Iraq has prompted some Iraqi and U.S. officials to reconsider the deadline.

The U.S. has stressed repeatedly that Iraq must formally request the American military to stay longer and describe specifically what type of role they would like the American military to play if the deadline is to be extended.

One last thing…
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