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U.S. initiates talks with Iraq on withdrawal of American troops from country

U.S. initiates talks with Iraq on withdrawal of American troops from country U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Photo:Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The United States officially confirmed the start of negotiations on the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, reports the Pentagon.

"The United States and the Government of Iraq will start working group meetings of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Military Commission (HMC) in the coming days, initiating a process the two sides committed to during the U.S.-Iraq Joint Security Cooperation Dialogue (JSCD) in Washington, D.C., on August 7-8, 2023. The commencement of the HMC process reflects the deep U.S. commitment to regional stability and Iraqi sovereignty," the statement said.

The Higher Military Commission will facilitate the transition to a long-term bilateral security partnership between the United States and Iraq, building on the successes of Iraq's Defeat-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (D-ISIS) campaign in partnership with the United Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve within the framework of the global coalition against ISIS.

What the Military Commission will focus on

The Higher Military Commission is also based on the results of the first U.S.-Iraqi consultative meeting held on August 7-8, 2023.

During this meeting, the U.S. and Iraq committed to establishing a commission to discuss how the transition of the coalition's mission to defeat ISIS will occur over time, taking into account three key factors:

  • Threats from ISIS.
  • Operational and environmental requirements.
  • The capability level of Iraqi security forces.

What the Pentagon also said

Expert working groups of military and defense experts will study these three factors and advise the commission, ensuring that ISIS can never revive.

"U.S. military personnel are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, as part of Operation Inherent Resolve's mission to advise, assist, and enable the Iraqi security forces in their ongoing fight against ISIS," the Pentagon added.

The Ministry of Defense also clarified that the United States and Iraq have maintained a deep and productive security partnership for 10 years, since the Iraqi government invited the United States and the coalition to combat ISIS, including seven years after the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the United States and Iraq intended to begin negotiations on ending the existence of the U.S.-led international military coalition in Iraq and on how to replace it with bilateral relations.

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

The military operation of the United States Armed Forces was conducted as part of the military campaign of a coalition of countries against ISIS in Iraq.

The intervention of coalition forces in Iraq began on June 15, 2014, after receiving an order from U.S. President Barack Obama to send an armed contingent of the U.S. Armed Forces to the region in response to the offensive actions in Iraq conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

The deployment of U.S. troops began only after receiving an official invitation from the Iraqi government.