Iraqis asked about the downscaling in U.S. Embassy staff said Wednesday it reflects America's shrinking influence in the country.
"This is a sign the Americans have given up their promises to support Iraqis. The U.S. Embassy has failed to play the role of being a fair mediator among Iraqi political blocs," said Ibrahim Hussein, a Sunni engineer from Baghdad's Azamiyah neighborhood.
Hussein Sabeeh, a Shiite shop owner in eastern Baghdad, said he was happy to hear of the reductions because "it is a step toward totally clearing the country from any traces of the U.S. occupation."
Washington is not along in rethinking the extent of its presence in Iraq.
The United Kingdom, America's main ally in the invasion that began March 20, 2003, announced in October it was shutting its consulate in the southern oil hub of Basra — while maintaining an office for diplomats to use when they travel there — and bolstering resources at its embassy in Baghdad.
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