Iraq resumes anti-ISIS operations with US-led coalition

Iraqi PM Adil Abdul Mahdi speaking during a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq October 23, 2019. (File photo: Reuters)

Iraq’s military said on Thursday it was resuming operations with the US-led coalition against ISIS, which it had halted after the killing of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani by US forces and Iran’s retaliatory attacks on bases hosting those forces.

The coalition battling ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria suspended most of its operations on January 5 to focus on protecting coalition forces and bases, as tensions with Iran grew.

Iraq’s parliament also passed a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country and ensure they not use its territory for any reason.

“In order to exploit the time that remains for the international coalition before the new relationship is set up... It was decided to carry out joint actions,” an Iraqi military statement said.

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The joint operations include aerial backing for the Iraqi forces depending on their needs, the statement said.

Baghdad condemned both the killing of Soleimani and Iran’s missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing US troops as acts of aggression on Iraq and a breach of its sovereignty.

Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has asked Washington to prepare for a US troop withdrawal in line with the request by Iraq’s parliament. So far, the US government has rebuffed the call to withdraw.

However, Washington has said it is exploring a possible expansion of NATO’s mission in Iraq, a plan to “get burden-sharing right in the region.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01
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