Senior military commanders on Thursday said they had chosen five locations in the restive northern city of Mosul where Iraqi security forces will work with US soldiers after June 30.
American combat troops are scheduled to leave Iraq's cities, towns and villages by the end of this month, withdrawing to other bases, but a small number of military advisers and trainers will remain.
"The Iraqi government has agreed on the stay of some non-combat troops," Major General Robert Caslen, the senior US officer in northern Iraq, told reporters, stressing that they would work in a supportive role.
"They will support Iraqi forces in anything they want, and they will be in five districts only, working with Iraqis," he added.
Violence in Mosul, often targeting Iraqi and US security forces, is a daily occurrence. It is being tackled by joint patrols and US-led and funded civil projects to boost local employment.
Caslen said coalition forces would continue to launch operations in remote areas and away from cities, but only "with the agreement of Iraqi forces".
The governor of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, meanwhile, has proposed that American military vehicles seen in Mosul after June 30 are likely to carry special markings.
"There will be words written on the vehicles moving in the streets," said Caslen, noting that this would take between two and four weeks to finalise.
"This is the idea of the governor," he added.
Iraqi Major General Hassan Karim Khodhair said the June 30 withdrawal was "a historic day" and that both militaries were working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.
"There is a major effort by the different leaderships and all the operating units," he said at a joint press conference with Caslen.
"There is clear coordination from people in Mosul that helped the province to make this progress. The security file will be in the hands of our forces, and they are able to do their tasks completely."
The pullout comes in the wake of several large bombings across the country, the latest of which, in Sadr City in northeastern Baghdad, killed at least 62 people and wounded 150 on Wednesday.
The recent spate of attacks led Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to reassure Iraqis on Thursday that his security forces were able to protect the nation.
He appealed to Iraqis to inform the army and police of any potential attacks, to ensure that the country did not return to the sectarian violence that blighted it throughout 2006 and 2007.
"Security forces need more intelligence to cope with the effects of sectarianism that some are trying to bring back," he said.
Source: AFP American Edition