PM Kadhimi announces end of anti-ISIS coalition’s combat mission in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. (Photo: Archive)
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced on Wednesday that the US-led anti-ISIS coalition's combat mission in Iraq had come to a close.

"The Coalition have fully completed their combat role after transfer of personnel and material outside Iraq," al-Kadhimi said in a tweet.

"Going forward," he added, "their role will be to advise and assist our security forces per the outcome of the Strategic Dialogue," referring to ongoing talks between Washington, Baghdad, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on the future role of the US in Iraq.

As part of the talks, Iraq and the United States agreed last July to withdraw all coalition combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year.

The United States announced after the fourth round of Strategic Dialogue held earlier this month that there would be no US forces with a combat role by the end of the year, explaining that US troops will instead be advising, assisting, enabling, and intelligence-sharing in support of Iraqi security forces and Kurdistan Region Peshmerga in their continuing fight against ISIS.

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On Monday, US President Joe Biden signed into law a bill, formally known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that authorizes defense spending for the next fiscal year.

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The total amount authorized in the NDAA is $771 billion. Out of that sum, $260 million is allocated for the Peshmerga in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and $177 million for two groups in Syria.