US Set To Formalize Readjustment Of Troop Role In Iraq
By the end of this year, the United States and Iraq are expected to formalize the end of Washington’s combat mission in Iraq and continue the transition towards training and advising Iraqi forces.
Currently, there are around 2,500 US troops in Iraq whose focus is to counter the remnants of the ISIS. Their major roles include training and counterterrorism operations.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden met his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa al-Kadhimi and announced, “We’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission.” This reflects the President’s commitment to putting an end to the US combat role in Iraq.
On the other hand, Kadhimi told the Associated Press that there is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil. “Iraq’s security forces and army are capable of defending the country without US-led coalition troops,” he added.
During his meeting with Biden, Kadhimi also thanked the American people on behalf of all Iraqis. He emphasized that Iraq would continue to seek US military assistance in training and intelligence gathering.
During Donald Trump’s administration, the relationship between the US and Iraq became quite bitter as Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force. Since then, there has been strong pressure on the Iraqi government to negotiate the exit of US troops from Iraq.
With this move after the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, it seems like Biden is on the right path of fulfilling his promise of vacating the Middle East militarily. It is yet to be seen how this redeployment takes place and how many US troops will eventually stay in Iraq.