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U.S. and Iraq in talks to conclude White House military mission

U.S. and Iraq in talks to conclude White House military mission Photo: U.S. and Iraq discuss end of White House military mission (Getty Images)

The United States and Iraq held the first round of talks in Baghdad aimed at winding down the military coalition mission led by the White House to combat the terrorist group "Islamic State," according to the Voice of America.

In his statement, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced the initiation of the first round of bilateral dialogue between his country and the United States.

The start of the negotiations comes against the backdrop of regular drone attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed militias.

It is noted that the White House has maintained a presence in Iraq since 2003. The U.S. military withdrew from the country in 2011 but returned in 2014 to assist Baghdad in defeating the "Islamic State."

After the "Islamic State" lost control of captured territories, Iraq called on the U.S. to withdraw coalition forces, especially following the White House airstrike in January 2020, which resulted in the elimination of:

  • Iranian General Qasem Soleimani;
  • Leader of the Iraqi militias, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The issue of troop withdrawal resurfaced, particularly after the start of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza sector.

"Since mid-October, a group of Iran-backed militants, calling themselves the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, initiated regular attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. According to this group, these attacks are carried out in retaliation for Washington's support of Israel," the publication explains.

As a result of these attacks on U.S. military bases, dozens of soldiers suffered injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. In response, the U.S. conducted strikes on militant targets, particularly those associated with the Popular Mobilization Forces—a predominantly Shiite, Iran-backed coalition of militarized groups.

"American officials stated that discussions about establishing a committee to determine the framework for ending the coalition mission were ongoing before October 7 and that this decision is unrelated to the situation in the Gaza sector," the publication adds.

International military operation led by the U.S. in Iraq

The military operation of the United States Armed Forces conducted as part of a multinational campaign against ISIS on Iraqi territory.

The coalition intervention in Iraq began on June 15, 2014, following the order from U.S. President Barack Obama to deploy an armed contingent of the U.S. military to the region in response to offensive actions by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq.

The introduction of American troops occurred only after receiving an official invitation from the Iraqi government.