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US foreign policy

US officially announces end date for ‘combat mission’ in Iraq

But the announcement itself is expected to see little change in US posture inside of Iraq and the number of troops it has on the ground.

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The United States officially announced a shift in its mission in Iraq Monday during a meeting between President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

After multiple rounds of Strategic Dialogue and the uptick of attacks against US forces by Iran-backed militias, Washington set an end date for what is called its “combat mission” in Iraq.

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Before meeting Kadhimi at the White House, Biden said that the role of US forces in Iraq would shift to advising and training.

“I think things are going well. Our role in Iraq will be … to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises,” Biden said.

“But we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat zone,” he added.

The announcement itself is expected to see little change in the US posture inside of Iraq and the number of troops it has on the ground.

US forces are present inside the country at the invitation of the Iraqi government, which requested help in combatting ISIS in 2014.

Separately, Biden said 500,000 coronavirus vaccine jabs would be sent to Iraq in the next couple of weeks.

He also said he was looking forward to the elections in Iraq, which are set to take place in October.

Read more: Assassinations in Lebanon and Iraq: The same fingerprints