News ID: 318621
Published: 0422 GMT December 10, 2021

Iraq: US-led troops’ combat mission ends

Iraq: US-led troops’ combat mission ends

Iraq’s national security adviser Qassim al-Araji said on Thursday the US-led coalition has ended its combat mission in Iraq and withdrawn from the country, a move that transfers all remaining troops into a training and advising role.

"We are officially announcing the end of the coalition forces' combat mission," Araji wrote on Twitter.

US-led forces will continue only in a training and development capacity, Araji added, according to Reuters.

He was speaking after a meeting between the Joint Operations commanders of the Iraqi security forces and the coalition.

The coalition confirmed it had "completed its transition to a non-combat mission".

Iraqi commander Lieutenant General Abdul Amir al-Shammari said foreign forces “are now serving in a new capacity – with a mission to advise, assist, and enable our brave military warriors” in the fight against the Daesh terror group.

Shammari said Iraqi forces were ready to handle the Daesh threat.

In effect, the about 2,500 US and 1,000 other coalition troops deployed in Iraq will remain in the country. They have been acting as advisers and trainers since mid-2020, AFP reported.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement in July to formally end the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021. 

Iraq’s anti-terror Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba movement said resistance groups will continue their struggle until all American forces leave.

“American forces cannot be identified as anything other than occupiers if they do not withdraw by the end of the current year. We express our support for the groups that are mounting resistance against occupying US forces,” the group's spokesman, Nasr al-Shammari, said, Press TV reported.

Daesh established a so-called caliphate across swathes of Syria and Iraq from 2014.

It was defeated in Iraq in 2017 after offensives by Iraqi forces backed by Iran and dozens of other countries. 

Even though Iraq declared victory against Daesh in December 2017, the terror group's remnants still carry out attacks against security forces and civilians.

Iraqi Interior Ministry media official General Saad Maan told a news conference on Thursday that "the coalition will have completely finished the transition to a non-combat mission before the end of the year".

The majority of US troops sent to Iraq in 2014 as part of the coalition were withdrawn under former president Donald Trump.



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