Home LATEST NEWS Iraq: end of combat mission for the anti-armed group Islamic State coalition

Iraq: end of combat mission for the anti-armed group Islamic State coalition

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If it does not change anything on the ground, the announcement is crucial for the Iraqi executive in the face of virulent threats from powerful pro-Iran factions, which demand the outright departure of all American forces in Iraq.

We officially announce the end of the combat mission of the coalition forces.

A quote from Qassem al-Aaraji, Iraqi National Security Advisor

This change in mission of the international coalition engaged against the Islamic State (IS) armed group was first mentioned in July by Joe Biden.

The American president had promised the end by December 31, 2021 of all combat mission American troops, during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi.

In fact, the approximately 2,500 American soldiers and the 1,000 coalition soldiers deployed in Iraq will remain there. These troops have already played the role of advisers and trainers since the summer of 2020.

The Washington-led international coalition, which encompasses more than 80 countries, including France, Britain and several Arab states, was formed in 2014 to support the offensives in Iraq and Syria against Israel.Islamic State armed group.

Iraq declared its victory against the jihadists in December 2017. But theIslamic state continues to carry out attacks against the security forces and in recent weeks several Kurdish fighters have been killed in northern Iraq.

Hachd Al-Chaabi, a former coalition of Iraqi paramilitaries now integrated into the regular forces and an influential political actor ally of Tehran, is particularly virulent about the departure of American troops from Iraq.

The United States maintains its influence

But there is no question for Washington to abandon the country to Iranian influence, while the periods of tension and detente between the two enemies are punctuated by negotiations to relaunch the 2015 international agreement on Iranian nuclear power.

For analyst Nicholas Heras, the United States maintains the same military role in Iraq, but what changes is the message.

The political and security environment in Iraq is so tense that the Biden administration wants America to keep a low profile and avoid crises, especially with Iran, he explains.

In recent months, dozens of rocket attacks or drone bomb attacks have targeted US troops and US interests in Iraq. Never claimed, these attacks are systematically blamed by the United States on pro-Iran Iraqi factions.

On social networks, the nebula of groups close to pro-Iran factions is increasing threats and reminds Washington of the deadline of December 31 to demand a total American withdrawal which was never discussed.

For Mr. Heras, the change in American discourse also reflects a new reality:EI“,” text “:” Iraqi security forces have more capacity than before to attack ISIS “}}”>Iraqi security forces have more capacity than before to tackle theIslamic state.

The coalition will have fully completed the transition to a non-combat mission by the end of the year.

A quote from General Saad Maan, communication manager of the Iraqi Interior Ministry

He was speaking at the end of a military meeting between the commanders of the coalition and the Joint Operations of the Iraqi security forces.

The majority of US troops sent to Iraq in 2014 as part of the coalition were withdrawn under President Donald Trump.

The jihadist threat is still present

But Iraq remains an important link in Washington’s strategic plan and in the coalition, in particular for anti-jihadist operations carried out in neighboring Syria.

Islamic state maintains a largely clandestine presence in Iraq and Syria and leads a sustained insurgency on both sides of the border between the two countries, according to a UN report published in early 2021.

In these two countries, the jihadist organization would retain000 active combatants “,” text “:” in all 10,000 active combatants “}} ‘>in all 10,000 active combatants, according to this report.

The coalition insists it is in Iraq at the invitation of the government. Its troops are now stationed at three Iraqi bases, managed by Iraqi forces.

In recent months, she has multiplied the announcements highlighting her change of mission. In November, she underlined in a press release the departure from Iraq of more than 2,100 trucks of military equipment.

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