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Politics: Biden, Iraqi prime minister to announce end of US combat mission in Iraq

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U . S . President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement on Monday formally ending the U . S . combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, but U . S . forces will still operate there in an advisory role. Together with his agreement on Iraq , the Democratic president is moving to formally complete U . S . combat missions in the two wars that then-President George W. Bush began under his watch nearly two decades ago. A U . S .-led coalition invaded Iraq in March 2003 based on charges that then- Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass

WASHINGTON – The United States will end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, President Joe Biden confirmed Monday in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Iraqis inspect the site of an explosion in a market in the Shiite-majority Sadr City neighborhood, east of the capital Baghdad, on July 20. Iraqis mourned at least 36 people killed when a bomb ripped through the market in what Islamic State jihadists claimed was a suicide attack. During a briefing at the White House Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say how many U . S . troops would remain in Iraq .

President Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi will announce Monday that the U.S. military's combat mission in Iraq will formally conclude by the end of the year.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Biden, Iraqi prime minister to announce end of US combat mission in Iraq © The Hill Biden, Iraqi prime minister to announce end of US combat mission in Iraq

The announcement will come in a joint communique issued after the two leaders meet in the White House on Monday afternoon, a senior administration official told reporters in a background call about the meeting.

"We're talking about shifting to a new phase in the campaign in which we very much complete the combat mission against ISIS and shift to an advisory and training mission by the end of the year," the official said.

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Biden US Iraq . Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi listens during his meeting with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 26, 2021. WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday the U . S . military’s combat mission in Iraq will conclude by the end of the year, setting out a more precise timeline for American forces to formally step back in their fight against the Islamic State organization in Iraq . The plan to shift the American military mission to a strictly advisory and training one by year’s end — with no U . S . troops in a combat role — will be

President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi announced the United States 's combat mission will cease at the end of the year. The two leaders agreed to the policy shift, which will leave the remaining troops to act in an advisory capacity, during a Monday meeting in the Oval Office. This move is largely symbolic, given the U . S . does not have “noncombat” troops, and the soldiers in Iraq don’t accompany local forces on their pursuit of the remnants of the Islamic State. A senior administration official told reporters ahead of the meeting, “ Iraq has requested, and we very

"As this evolution continues, and as we formally end the combat mission and make clear that there are no American forces with a combat role in the country, Iraq has requested, and we very much agree, that they need continued training, support with logistics, intelligence, advisory capacity building - all of which will continue," the official added.

But while the announcement will mark a symbolic end to the combat mission, U.S. military operations in Iraq are expected to remain largely unchanged, as U.S. troops there have been in a mostly training and advisory role for years. Additionally, the distinction between "combat" and "noncombat" troops is not clear.

"All of our troops are capable of doing multiple things. And certainly, we task our combat troops, our troops that are capable of conducting combat operations, with training, advising and assisting," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters traveling with him in Alaska on Saturday when asked whether there are any U.S. combat troops in Iraq. "And so I think trying to make that distinction is very difficult. But I would say that the key is ... what we're tasked to do at any one point in time."

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President Joe Biden said the US combat mission in Iraq will end this December, when Washington’s role will shift to training local forces, but declined to say what will come of the 2,500 American troops still in the country. Speaking during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday While US officials told the New York Times last week that the White House was likely to agree to a drawdown and would announce a deadline on Monday, no date was given following Biden ’s meeting with the Iraqi PM. Moreover, the officials said the US soldiers would merely be reclassified to other

In an Oval Office meeting with Iraq 's prime minister , President Joe Biden said Monday the U . S . military’s combat mission in Iraq will conclude by the end of the year, setting out a more precise timeline for American forces to formally step back. (July 26). During a briefing at the White House on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say how many U . S . troops would remain in Iraq . 10h ago.

Monday's announcement comes as both U.S. officials and al-Kadhimi have been struggling to balance the continued need to keep ISIS in check with repeated attacks on U.S. forces by Iran-backed militias and political pressure on the prime minister to boot U.S. troops.

Last year, Iraq's parliament voted to kick U.S. troops out after the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani while he was at the Baghdad airport.


Video: Biden announces U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end on August 31 (CBS News)

The Iraqi government also condemned the airstrikes Biden ordered in June against the Iran-backed militias, with al-Kadhimi's office saying in a statement the strikes were a "blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security."

In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, al-Kadhimi held that "there is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil."

Joe Biden, country killer

  Joe Biden, country killer President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi at the White House on Monday. © Provided by Washington Examiner It wasn't just any leader-to-leader meeting. Biden announced that the United States would soon end its combat mission in Iraq. The move comes just a few months short of the 10th anniversary of America’s last withdrawal from Iraq. Back then, Biden was optimistic. "I can tell you that when we came to office, we had, we had over 150,000 folks there, a war with no political end in sight.

President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House to discuss ending America’s combat mission in Iraq . Al-Kadhimi thanked America for the partnership between countries and Biden said the counter terrorism operation will continue.

In April, after the previous round of U.S.-Iraq strategic talks, a joint statement said "the mission of U.S. and coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq." Monday's statement builds on that by adding the end-of-year timeline.

While largely symbolic, Monday's announcement is also the latest effort by Biden to put the post-9/11 era behind the United States as it shifts to focusing on competition with China. U.S. troops are on the verge of completing a withdrawal from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years after Biden ordered them out by Aug. 31.

The current U.S. military operation in Iraq has its roots in 2014, when then-President Obama sent troops back into the country to combat ISIS after withdrawing them in 2011.

ISIS lost all of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria in 2019, but U.S. forces remain in the region as the terrorist group continues to pose a threat and wage a deadly insurgency.

Indeed, even as administration officials previewed the end of the combat mission in Iraq, they acknowledged the threat ISIS still poses.

Last week's ISIS-claimed bombing in Baghdad that killed at least 35 people "just reinforces the need that we both understand and recognize that Iraq continues to need support in this kind of advisory, training, capacity-building sense," the official said on the call with reporters.

Still, the official said, Iraqi forces are "battle-tested" and "have proven very capable in protecting their country," so U.S. forces "can very much recede deep into the background."

About 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, and 900 are in Syria. Monday's announcement will not affect the mission or footprint in Syria, the official said.

U.S., Iraqi officials to announce U.S. military shift to advisory role in Iraq by year’s end .
The shift would mark the official end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, but won’t include a troop drawdown.Officials plan to announce this shift on Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets with President Joe Biden at the White House, according to one of the people familiar with the discussions.

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