The United States agreed today, during a meeting with the Iraqi authorities, to withdraw the last US military personnel who still remain in Iraq, seconded to fight the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
“[Os dois países] confirmed that the mission of the United States and Coalition forces evolves into a training and advisory mission, thus allowing the redistribution of any remaining combat force in Iraq, within a timetable to be defined in future technical discussions “, reads in a joint statement released after a videoconference meeting.
The decision comes at a time when US forces in Iraq are almost daily targeted by rockets assigned to Shi’ite paramilitary groups linked to Tehran.
But US President Joe Biden, for once in agreement with his predecessor Donald Trump, is trying to withdraw US troops from Iraq and also from Afghanistan.
In the final months of his term, Trump ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
On January 15 of this year, the total number of US military personnel in the two countries was around 2,500.
Former US President Barack Obama, of whom Joe Biden was vice-president, had already ordered the total withdrawal from Iraq, but eventually resubmitted them to combat the vast IS offensive.
“The transfer of US and international forces to training and advisory actions for the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reflects the success of the strategic partnership and ensures support for ISF’s continued efforts to ensure that ISIS can never again threaten Iraq’s stability “, reads the joint note.
For its part, Iraq has pledged to protect military bases where forces under US command are present.
In this regard, Washington has specified those military personnel who will remain on Iraqi soil “only to support Iraq’s efforts in its fight against IS”.
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