The US to End Combat Mission in Iraq


Mr Biden and Mr Kadhimi had their first face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office as part of a strategic conversation between the US and Iraq.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi signed a deal officially terminating the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021. American soldiers will continue to serve in an advisory capacity in the country.

The deal arrives at a diplomatically sensitive time for the Iraqi government, but it might help Baghdad.

Iran-aligned parties and paramilitary organizations have been intensifying their pressure on Mr Kadhimi, who oppose the US military presence in the nation.

Mr Biden and Mr Kadhimi had their first face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office as part of a strategic conversation between the US and Iraq.

Mr Biden told reporters that “Our job in Iraq will be to be ready, to continue training, to support, to assist, and to handle with ISIS if it arises, but we will not be in a combat mission by the end of the year.”

2,500 US soldiers are stationed in Iraq, concentrating on fighting the Islamic State’s remains. The United States’ participation in Iraq will be limited to coaching and mentoring the Iraqi troops to protect themselves.

The agreement to stop the military operation in Iraq comes after Mr Biden decided to depart from Afghanistan unconditionally and finish the US military presence by August.

With his Iraq agreement, the Democratic President is taking measures to officially terminate US combat operations which started nearly two decades ago during the times of President George W. Bush. 

In recent times, the United States’ mission concentrated on assisting in the destruction of Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Kadhimi, regarded as a pro-American, has attempted to limit the authority of Iran-aligned militias.

However, in late June, his administration criticized US air attacks on Iran-aligned forces near Iraq’s border with Syria, calling them a breach of Iraqi integrity.

Deal Welcomed

Several major pro-Iran factions in Iraq applauded the United States’ statement.

Mr Biden’s declaration was viewed as a “good step toward complete autonomy of Iraq” by the Conquest Alliance, the political branch of Iraq’s Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary network, which pro-Iran organizations govern.

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