US abandons plans to keep troops in Iraq next year

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Associated Press has learned that the Obama administration is abandoning plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline.

A senior administration official in Washington confirmed Saturday that all American troops will leave except for about 160 troops attached to the U.S. Embassy. The Pentagon had considered leaving up to 5,000 troops to train security forces and hinder Iranian influence.

A senior U.S. military official said the withdrawal could allow future, limited U.S. military training missions if requested.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Iraqi political leaders have rejected giving legal immunity to U.S. troops -- a deal-breaker to Washington.