US combat forces to leave Iraq by end of year

US President Joe Biden declared relations with Iraq would enter a brand new part with American troops exiting combat operations within the nation by year-end as he held talks with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

Amid the menace of an Islamic State resurgence and Iran's highly effective affect in Baghdad, Mr Biden burdened that Washington stays "committed to our security cooperation" whereas Mr Kadhemi reaffirmed their "strategic partnership."

US troops in Iraq will "to continue to train, to assist, to help, to deal with ISIS (Islamic State) as it arises," Mr Biden mentioned.

But, in a shift that comes because the US pulls out of Afghanistan, the US chief confirmed that the two,500 US troops nonetheless in Iraq won’t be preventing.

"We're not going to be, at the end of the year, in a combat mission," he mentioned.

Eighteen years after the US invaded Iraq to take away Saddam Hussein, and 7 years after a US-led coalition battled Islamic State extremists who threatened the nation, Washington turned its focus to different varieties of help.

It mentioned it might assist strengthen electrical energy provides, combat Covid-19, confront the impacts of local weather change, and assist personal sector improvement.

Some 500,000 coronavirus vaccine doses pledged to Baghdad "will be there in a couple weeks," Mr Biden informed Mr Kadhemi within the White House.

Mr Biden additionally emphasised US assist for elections in October in Iraq, saying Washington is working intently with Baghdad, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations to make sure the elections are truthful.

"We support strengthening Iraq's democracy and we're anxious to make sure the election goes forward," he mentioned.

Mr Kadhemi mentioned he was in Washington "to discuss the future of our nation".

"America, they help Iraq. Together we fight, fight and defeat ISIS," he mentioned.

"Today, our relation is stronger than ever — our partnership in the economy, the environment, health, education, culture and more."

The face-to-face assembly, analysts mentioned, was to give assist and canopy to Mr Kadhemi, in energy for little over a year and beneath stress from Iran-allied political factions to push US troops from his nation.

A senior US official who wouldn’t be recognized praised Mr Kadhemi for being pragmatic and "a problem solver rather than someone who tries to use problems for his own political interests".

The major concern from Washington is to lend sufficient assist to Iraqi safety forces to sustain the combat in opposition to the remnants of the Islamic State group, whereas additionally holding a damper on Iran's affect in Iraq.

Since final year the principal position of the remaining US troops in Iraq has been to practice, advise and assist their Iraqi counterparts to battle Islamic State.

But highly effective pro-Iran political factions, that are essential to Mr Kadhemi retaining energy, are overtly hostile to the US presence, and are accused of being behind rocket and drone assaults on bases in Iraq the place US forces function.

The Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, a bunch of militia factions, threatened to proceed the assaults until the US withdraws all its forces and ends the "occupation".

A drone assault was carried out Friday on a navy base in Iraqi Kurdistan that hosts American troops, however didn’t trigger any casualties.

A US State Department assertion on the lower-level bilateral conferences that accompanied the Biden-Kadhemi summit emphasised US respect for Iraq's sovereignty.

"The bases hosting US and other coalition personnel are Iraqi bases and are operating per existing Iraqi laws; they are not US or coalition bases, and the presence of international personnel in Iraq is solely in support of the government of Iraq's fight against ISIS," it mentioned.

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