Iraq’s Kadhimi says withdrawal of U.S.-led forces completed

BAGHDAD,— The Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced on Wednesday that the International Coalition to Counter Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) has completed its withdrawal of combat forces from the country.

Kadhimi said in a tweet on Twitter “The Coalition have fully completed their combat role after transfer of personnel and material outside Iraq.”

“Their role will be to advise and assist our security forces per the outcome of the Strategic Dialogue.” the statement added.

“We thank the leadership of the Coalition, it’s members, our partners and neighbors in combating Daish and reaffirm that our security forces stand ready to defend our people.” Kadhimi said

According to Iraqi News Agency, Tahsin al-Khafaji, the spokesman for Joint Operations Command, stated on Tuesday that advisors at Iraqi bases were few in number and that the coalition’s role had shifted from combat to advisory.

In July, US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi agreed to end the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021. Biden said US forces will continue to train Iraqi forces to IS.

Since 2020, the United States has maintained approximately 2,500 troops in Iraq. According to Western officials, the majority of those forces have been operating only in a training and advising capacity for some time.

The military mission, led by the United States, is aimed at eradicating the Islamic State’s remnants. Its mission began in 2014 as part of an international effort to defeat the extremist group that had taken over vast areas of Iraq and Syria.