Shafaq News/ The Joint Operations Command, the highest military authority in the Iraqi army, stated on Friday that the last fighting force of the international anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States of America will leave the country in the coming days, denying that any of them will remain on Iraqi soil.
The commander of the US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie, had said in a press statement that Washington would keep the current 2,500 troops in Iraq, warning of an increase in terrorist attacks.
A statement issued by the joint operations, apparently in response to McKenzie’s statements, stated that “we confirm that the combat forces of the international coalition will leave Iraq completely before the end of this month, and we deny what was issued by some media outlets regarding the survival of these forces.”
The statement added, “It has been agreed between Iraq and the United States, in accordance with the principles of the strategic dialogue and the outcomes of the recent technical team meetings, to transfer members of the coalition with a combat role outside Iraq and to officially announce the end of combat missions, and coalition personnel will be present in Iraq to provide support, advice and empowerment to the Iraqi security forces.”
And the joint operations went on in its statement, “Most of these forces have already left, and the rest will be evacuated in the coming days, and there will be a group of advisers to replace the previous forces, in order to support our security forces.”
“We reaffirm again what was issued yesterday’s statement on the outcomes of the last round of the strategic dialogue, that the presence and work of the advisers will be exclusively in accordance with Iraqi sovereignty and international laws and norms,” the statement added.
On Thursday, National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji announced the “officially” end of the combat missions of the international coalition forces in Iraq.
Al-Araji said, in a tweet through his official account on the Twitter platform, “Today we ended the last round of dialogue with the International Coalition, which we started last year, to officially announce the end of the combat missions of the Coalition forces and their withdrawal from Iraq,” noting that “the relationship will continue with the International Coalition in the field of training.” counseling and empowerment.
For his part, the head of the Security Media Cell, Major General Saad Maan, said that the international coalition will completely finish its combat missions before the end of this year, explaining that cooperation in the field of training will continue with the international coalition.
Maan added that members of the coalition will be in the country at the invitation of the Iraqi government, indicating that the presence of the international coalition will be in accordance with what preserves Iraqi sovereignty.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said that there will be no US forces on combat missions in Iraq after December 31, 2021.
Earlier, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command confirmed that there was no intention to postpone the date of the withdrawal of US combat forces from the country.
Iraq and the United States agreed last July to withdraw all American combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year.
Armed Shiite factions threaten to wage “decisive battles” on the night of the 31st of next month if US forces do not withdraw from the country they entered in 2003.