Amid the threat of an Islamic State resurgence and Iran’s powerful influence in Baghdad, Biden stressed that Washington remains “committed to our security cooperation” while Kadhemi reaffirmed their “strategic partnership.”
US troops in Iraq will “to continue to train, to assist, to help, to deal with ISIS (Islamic State) as it arises,” Biden said.
But, in a shift that comes as the United States pulls out of Afghanistan, the US leader confirmed that the 2,500 US troops still in Iraq won’t be fighting.
“We’re not going to be, at the end of the year, in a combat mission,” he said.
Eighteen years after the US invaded Iraq to remove strongman Saddam Hussein, and seven years after a US-led coalition battled Islamic State extremists who threatened the country, Washington turned its focus to other types of assistance.
It said it would help strengthen electric power supplies, fight COVID-19, confront the impacts of climate change, and support private sector development. – NDTV