The United States and Iraq held a new round of strategic talks on the 7th. The United States promised to withdraw the remaining combat troops from Iraq, but the two sides did not set a timetable for the withdrawal of troops.
This is the first strategic dialogue between the U.S. government and the Iraqi government since Joseph Biden became president. The dialogue was held in video format and moderated by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blincoln and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein.
The United States and Iran said in a joint statement that the two sides confirmed that the mandate of the multinational coalition of the U.S. military in Iraq and the anti-extremist organization Islamic State “has transitioned to a focus on training and advice so that any remaining combat troops withdrawn from Iraq can be redeployed”, and the specific time will be determined at the upcoming technical talks. .
The two sides stressed the need to continue security cooperation. Hussein issued a statement during the talks, saying that Iraq still needs the support of the United States in training, arming and advising its troops.
The United States launched the Iraq War in 2003 and withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, leaving only a small number of soldiers at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.” The Islamic State seized large areas in western and northern Iraq in 2014, and the United States subsequently increased its troops, but the U.S. military’s authority was limited to combating the Islamic State and providing support and training to Iraqi government forces.
In January 2020, the U.S. military attacked and killed senior Iranian general Qassem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis, deputy commander of the Iraqi militia “People’s Mobilization Organization”, in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. The Iraqi Council of Representatives subsequently passed a resolution calling for an end to the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump previously promised to withdraw U.S. troops from the Middle East. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq has dropped to about 2,500 in the past few months.
According to Iraq and U.S. officials on the 7th, the Associated Press reported that the United States and Iran supported the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops, and there were still differences on the time and scope of the threat posed by the Islamic State.
Iraq’s national security adviser Qassem Allaji said on the 7th: “The United States is committed to withdrawing a large number of troops from Iraq.” Iraqi military spokesman Yahya Rasul said on the same day that Prime Minister Mustafa Kadimi had ordered the establishment of a committee to hold technical talks with the United States to approve the “mechanism and timetable” related to redeployment.
The U.S. Department of Defense declined to specify a specific withdrawal schedule, saying it would be set in technical talks.