Baghdad, Washington agree to reduce combat units in Ain al-Assad and Erbil

According to Fars News Agency’s International Group, two joint US-Iraqi military committees met in Baghdad on Thursday to discuss the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraqi territory.

The meeting was chaired by Abdul Amir al-Shammari, Iraq’s deputy commander of the Joint Operations, and his American counterpart, John Brennan, the commander of the Resolute Operation, according to a report by the official Iraqi News Agency (WAA) today (Friday).

According to the report, the two sides agreed to reduce the number of US combat units and capabilities at the Ain al-Assad and Erbil military bases by the end of September.

It is further stated that the US Coalition command level has been reduced from a headquarters to the command of an officer with the rank of General to a smaller rank to the command of an officer with the rank of Major General for the purpose of managing, supporting, equipping, exchanging information and advising.

“The two sides reaffirmed that the presence of US forces and international coalition forces is at the request of Iraq and focuses on supporting the Iraqi government in accordance with international law and protocols, as well as with respect for Iraqi sovereignty,” the statement said.

The two sides also agreed to hold several regular meetings to complete consideration of the remaining steps to change the role of foreign forces on Iraqi soil.

Baghdad and Washington agreed in the third round of strategic talks on the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by December 31, 2021.

During his recent visit to the United States, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with President Joe Biden to discuss a range of issues, including the need for US troops to leave Iraq by the end of this year.

However, comparing the new statement with the previous one, news sources reported that the new statement is no different from the third round statement and only the names have changed.

“The fourth and final round of US-Iraq strategic talks, which took place yesterday and includes the withdrawal of combat troops, does not seem to be the case,” Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed wrote in a report. [آمریکایی] “Until December 31, the renaming of the US military presence in Iraq to advisory and training was a new issue or would limit the US military role in Iraq.”

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed noted that the joint official statement of the third round of talks between the two sides on April 7 had emphasized the following, stating: “They conclude that the role of the United States and coalition forces has now shifted to training and advisory missions.”

Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament in January 1998, following the criminal act of the United States in the assassination of General Haj Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy martyr of the Iraqi Popular Organization, plan to expel US troops. From the territory of this country; However, the United States continues to insist on violating the resolution and remaining on Iraqi soil.

In a recent interview with Al-Hurra, Joey Hood, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, addressed the issue of US withdrawal from Iraq. to be continued. In Iraq, our mission has changed to non-combat because the Iraqi security forces made good use of our equipment, training, guidance and intelligence to fight ISIS. “This issue will continue.”

“Our mission in Afghanistan has been completed,” he said. “Our interests in Iraq will be sustained over time, and this will not only include security, but also assistance to the Iraqi security forces, including the Syrian Democratic Forces, for the complete defeat of ISIS, and this will take time.”

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