After more than 18 years, the role of the U.S. military will shift to training and advising Iraqi forces for self-defense.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadimi An agreement was signed on Monday to formally end US combat missions in Iraq before the end of 2021, which is 18 years later. U.S. Army Was sent to the country.
Coupled with the fact that Biden withdrew the last U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan before the end of August, this Democratic president is completing the two wars that the United States began under the leadership of then President George W Bush. Combat mission.
As part of the strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq, Biden and Kadimi met in the Oval Office for the first face-to-face meeting.
“Our role in Iraq will be…stand by at any time to continue training, assisting, helping and responding to the emergence of the Islamic State, but by the end of this year, we will not fall into a combat mission,” Biden told reporters during a meeting with Kadimi .
There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq, focusing on fighting the remnants of ISIL. The U.S. role in Iraq will completely shift to training and advising Iraqi troops for self-defense.
This change is not expected to have a major impact, because the United States has turned to focus on training Iraqi forces.
The coalition forces headed by the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the grounds that the government of the then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was removed from office, but the weapon was never discovered.
In recent years, the mission of the United States has been mainly to help Defeat ISIL In Iraq and Syria.
“No one will declare that the mission is complete. The goal is to defeat the Islamic State for a long time,” a senior government official told reporters before Kadimi’s visit.
This reference is reminiscent of the huge “Mission Complete” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln, where Bush gave a speech on May 1, 2003, announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq.
“If you look at where we are, we have Apache helicopters in combat, and when we have US special forces conducting regular operations, this is a major evolution. So by the end of this year, we think we will be in a real A good place to officially enter the role of consulting and capacity building,” the official said.
Kadimi is seen as being friendly to the United States and trying to contain the forces of fighting organizations allied with Iran.But his government condemned the United States Air raid In late June, fighters who opposed the alliance with Iran on the border with Syria claimed that it violated Iraq’s sovereignty.
U.S Plan to provide Iraq Under the global COVAX vaccine sharing program, there are 500,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Biden said the dose should arrive within a few weeks.
The United States will also provide $5.2 million to fund the United Nations mission to monitor Iraq’s October elections.
Biden said: “We support the strengthening of democracy in Iraq, and we are eager to ensure that the October election goes smoothly.”
At the same time, Kadhimi is facing many problems.In addition to the increase in attacks on the U.S. military in recent months, a series of Devastating hospital fire Dozens of people died and coronavirus infections surged-adding a new sense of frustration to the country.
For Kadimi, the ability to provide the Iraqi public with an end date for the existence of American fighting before the election may be his hat.