Iraqi PM Says US Combat Troops Have Got to Go

In January 2020, Iraq’s parliament issued a resolution ordering the expulsion of all US and coalition forces from their country in response to the unprovoked assassination of a senior Iranian military commander in Baghdad. Washington has pared down its deployment and handed over some bases to Iraq, but refused to depart the country completely.

Iraq continues to depend on American security and training assistance, but doesn’t want US combat troops to remain present in the country, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has said amid his preparations to visit Washington next week.

“We are visiting Washington to set out our relationship with America. The Iraqi army still needs their forces for training. We need their support to our air force, and we need their intelligence support in the fight against ISIS*,” al-Kadhimi said, speaking to Saudi Arabia’s al-Hadath TV on Sunday.

In a related development, the Iraqi military announced Sunday that its forces had destroyed a Daesh (ISIS)* drone loitering over a police station in the western al-Anbar province and seized four of the group’s strongholds in Kirkuk region, capturing weapons and other equipment.

Al-Kadhimi is set to arrive in Washington on Monday 26 July for face-to-face talks with US President Joe Biden, with a White House brief on the upcoming visit saying that it would “highlight the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq and advance bilateral cooperation” between the two nations. The…

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