The United States agreed, on Wednesday (7), with Iraq to withdraw all combat troops that remain deployed in the country to fight Islamic extremists. A small contingent of training, however, will continue in the country.
“The parties confirmed that the United States mission and coalition forces have entered a transition focused on training and counseling, thus allowing the redistribution of any remaining combat troops in Iraq, for which the schedule will be established in a technical dialogue” , the countries announced in a joint statement after a virtual meeting.
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The announcement comes at a time when US forces receive rocket attacks almost daily, attributed to Shiite paramilitary militias linked to Iran, which prompted Biden to order air strikes against camps in Syria.
But Biden, in rare agreement with his predecessor, Donald Trump, is looking to end a policy known as “endless wars”.
Trump had ordered a reduction of the contingent in Iraq and Afghanistan in his final months in power, and by January 15, American troops in each country had been reduced to 2,500 troops.
Former Democratic President Barack Obama ordered the withdrawal of all troops from the country in Iraq, but returned to sending troops after the brutal offensive by the extremist Islamic State (IS) group.
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According to the joint statement, “the transition from US forces and other international contingents from combat operations to training, equipment and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces reflects the success of this strategic partnership”.
Iraq has pledged to protect the bases with American personnel who, according to Washington, are present “only in support of Iraq’s efforts to combat IS”.
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