Due to the constant threat of ISIL’s comeback in Iraq, Kadimi emphasized that Baghdad did not seek a full withdrawal of troops.
The Iraqi Prime Minister stated that his country no longer needs US combat forces to fight ISIL, but the official timetable for redeployment will depend on the outcome of talks with US officials this week.
Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in an interview with the Associated Press that Iraq will still require the United States to receive training and collect military intelligence, but will seek a timetable for withdrawing combat troops. This is Announced in April In the ongoing negotiations between Washington and Baghdad.
“Iraqi territory does not need any foreign combat forces,” he said in an interview published on Sunday, and then plans to travel to Washington, where he will meet with President Joe Biden on Monday for the fourth round of strategic talks.
“The war with the Islamic State [ISIL] The preparation of our military requires a special timetable, which depends on the negotiations we will conduct in Washington,” he added.
Kadimi will visit the White House Increasing pressure, Especially from Shia political groups, because the United States’ role in the country has diminished.
Last year, a U.S.-directed drone attack that killed the powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the commander of the Iraqi militias Abu Mahdi Mohandis on Iraqi territory stirred up this sentiment.
Militia allied with Iran are increasingly attacking US facilities in Iraq, which further highlights Kadimi’s limited control over the powerful forces in Iraq.
At the same time, the threat of ISIL’s comeback has always existed in Iraq, and Kadimi carefully emphasized that Baghdad does not seek a complete withdrawal.
“We hope that the US presence in Iraq is to support our troops in training and developing their efficiency and capabilities, as well as security cooperation,” al-Kadhimi said.
“Iraq has a set of American weapons that need to be maintained and trained. We will ask the United States to continue to support our forces and develop our capabilities,” he said.
Since then President Donald Trump ordered a reduction from 3,000 troops at the end of last year, the number of U.S. troops has remained at around 2,500.
Previously, former President Barack Obama withdrew troops from Iraq in 2011, creating a security vacuum and contributing to the rise of ISIL. The U.S. military was redeployed in 2014.
It is unclear exactly how Washington and Baghdad define combat forces and how many troops are actually redeployed according to the plan.
U.S. and coalition officials insist that the U.S. military will no longer perform ground missions with the Iraqi army and that the aid of the coalition forces is limited to intelligence collection and surveillance and the deployment of advanced military technology.