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    Iraq and US Begin Formal Talks to End Coalition Mission Formed to Fight the Islamic State Group

    Iraq and US Begin Formal Talks to End Coalition Mission Formed to Fight the Islamic State Group

    BEIRUT (AP) — The United States and Iraq held a first session of formal talks Saturday in Baghdad aimed at winding down the mission of a U.S.-led coalition formed to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said in a statement that he had sponsored “the commencement of the first round of bilateral dialogue between Iraq and the United States of America to end the mission of the Coalition in Iraq.”

    A statement released by the coalition said that working groups made up of Iraqi and coalition military officials will assess “the threat of Daesh (IS), operational and environmental requirements and Iraqi Security Force capabilities” and a higher military commission will “work to set the conditions to transition the mission in Iraq.”

    The beginning of talks, announced by both countries on Thursday, comes as U.S. forces in Iraq and have been regularly targeted by drone attacks launched by Iran-backed militias against the backdrop of the ongoing -Hamas war.

    The U.S. says plans to set up a committee to negotiate the terms of the mission's end were first discussed last year, and the timing isn't related to the attacks.

    has had a continuous presence in Iraq since its 2003 invasion. Although all U.S. combat forces left in 2011, thousands of troops returned in 2014 to help the government of Iraq defeat IS.

    Since the extremist group lost its hold on the…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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