Al-Kadhimi in Washington: USA ends combat mission in Iraq

Status: 07/26/2021 10:29 p.m.

The US troops want to stop their fighting in Iraq by the end of the year. President Biden said this during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi to Washington. A symbolic step.

By Katrin Brand, ARD Studio Washington

Officially, the combat mission in Iraq is to end at the turn of the year, more than 18 years after the first US troops were sent there. The role of the USA in the future is to train, assist, help – and – if necessary, to deal with the so-called “Islamic State”, said US President Joe Biden. He met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The US wants to help Iraq, among other things, host the election in October and fight the coronavirus.

How many soldiers will be withdrawn is still unclear

At the moment 2,500 US soldiers are still stationed in Iraq. At first nothing was said about how many will be withdrawn. The US is already focusing on training Iraqi troops. The official end of the combat mission, it is said, will not bring about any major change. However, it has a high symbolic meaning. President Biden is in the process of getting all US troops back from Afghanistan and ending the US’s longest combat mission.

Iraq has preoccupied the US for a similar length of time. After the Iraq war in spring 2003, the country was occupied by a coalition led by the USA. President Barack Obama withdrew the troops in 2011, but had to let them return a few years later to fight the terror of the “Islamic State”.

USA ends combat mission in Iraq

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, July 26, 2021 10:06 p.m.

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