US Agrees to Staged Withdrawal of Forces From Iraq, Says Negotiator

Timetable for exit to be agreed later

Iraq and the United States agreed on Wednesday to withdraw all foreign combat forces operating under the umbrella of the US-led military coalition, according to timetables that will be determined later between the two parties, an Iraqi negotiator has told Middle East Eye.

The two sides also agreed to change the description of the coalition’s role, limiting it to advice, training and support, the negotiator said.

“We made significant progress during the round of talks today on the security front,” said the negotiator, who has been participating in the US-Iraq dialogue held via videoconference.

He said all combat forces under the US-led coalition umbrella will withdraw.

“Timelines for withdrawal will be agreed upon later through technical military committees that will be formed on both sides to decide the required time limits,” the negotiator told MEE.

“The prime minister will announce the formation of the Iraqi military-technical committee within the next few hours or days, and it will be probably be chaired by the army chief of staff,” he added.

“The two sides have also agreed to change the role of the coalition to be a consultant, limited to providing training and support when needed.”

The US-led international coalition was formed in August 2014 in response to the Iraqi government’s request for assistance in confronting the Islamic State group.

Though the coalition consists of troops from more than 80 countries, the US accounts for the lion’s share.

The Iraqi foreign ministry later said in a statement that Baghdad and Washington “reaffirmed that US forces are in Iraq at the invitation of [the] Iraqi Government to support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in their fight against ISIS.

“Based on the increasing capacity of the ISF, the parties confirmed that the mission of US and Coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks.”

Easing tensions?

Tensions between Washington and Tehran since 2015 have cast a heavy shadow on the Iraqi political and security arenas, as the two sides have great influence in Iraq, extending through a network of armed groups, political forces, officials and security leaders.

Iraqi armed groups and politicians have long called for the withdrawal of US forces.

Frequent attacks on coalition troops and diplomatic missions by Iran-allied paramilitaries in Iraq have piled increasing pressure on Washington and the Baghdad government.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government hopes the planned withdrawal and change in the coalition’s scope will strip the Iran-backed armed factions of any pretext to attack diplomatic missions and military targets.

Last month, sources told MEE that the Iran-backed paramilitaries promised the Iraqi government they would halt attacks on US troops if Kadhimi officially requested the coalition withdraw.

Wednesday saw the third round of US-Iraq “strategic dialogue”, wide-ranging discussions over topics such as trade, aid and development.

However, with rockets raining down on US targets becoming routine, security is one of the most pressing issues the two sides must address.

After missiles were fired at a base hosting US troops in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Erbil in February, Washington ordered an air strike on Iraqi paramilitaries just over the Syrian border. One US contractor died of a heart attack during the missile raid, while one Iraqi fighter was killed by the American strike.

Source: Middle East Eye

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Jerry Hood
Jerry Hood
28 days ago

Too much in debt, no money for food, and the white goyim won’t fight for Isrealhell, and the new,LGBT troops, fight each other with pipes…

Steven Ginn
Steven Ginn
28 days ago

The Yanks are like herpes! Once you get them, you never really get rid of them!

Mr Reynard
Mr Reynard
28 days ago
Reply to  Steven Ginn

But when the last US Air Force fly out of Baghdad, it will have a banner attached to its tail, with the words, “Mission Accomplished” as..
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yuri
yuri
28 days ago

they are needed in Chicago to occupy their ghettos

Eddy
Eddy
27 days ago

I love how the words, ““reaffirmed that US forces are in Iraq at the invitation of [the] Iraqi Government to support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in their fight against ISIS.” are spouted. Ignoring the elephant in the room that there was no ISIS before the U.S. ILLEGALLY INVADED Iraq. Also, the words, ““The two sides have also agreed to change the role of the coalition to be a consultant, limited to providing training and support when needed.” Training ans support when needed ? W.T.F. have they been doing since invading Iraq, holding hands and playing Paper and Knife or something ? How long does it take Americans to TRAIN a military to defend it’self, especially after they DESTROYED the original Iraqi military making it vulnerable to groups like ISIS ??? Oh, I forgot, the training is still ongoing in Afghanistan after EIGHTEEN YEARS now.

XSFRGR
XSFRGR
26 days ago
Reply to  Eddy

Soon enough U$ troops will be returning to fight the developing rebellion in the U$.

XSFRGR
XSFRGR
26 days ago

I wonder if the Iraqi’s are really stupid enough to think that the Empire will ever leave. The evil must be ejected by force; there is no alternative.

Anti-Empire